- Title: Republican congressional candidate in Montana accused of assaulting reporter
- Date: 25th May 2017
- Summary: MISSOULA, MONTANA, UNITED STATES (MAY 24, 2017) (REUTERS) GIANFORTE SPEAKING AT CAMPAIGN EVENT VARIOUS OF GIANFORTE WITH VOTERS MONTANA DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE ROB QUIST GETTING OUT OF VEHICLE QUIST ASKING REPORTERS HOW IT'S GOING (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER ASKING: "A quick word, a reporter in Bozeman just tweeted that your opponent body slammed him apparently in an event, broke his glasses, wondering what your reaction is to that?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) MONTANA DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE ROB QUIST, SAYING: "I hadn't heard that so that's really not for me to talk about. I think that's more a matter for law enforcement." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER ASKING: "What would a reported assault do to the race at this point?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) MONTANA DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE ROB QUIST, SAYING: "I guess, again, that's not for me to judge. I'm just focused on the issues that are facing the people of Montana." QUIST WALKING OFF
- Embargoed: 8th June 2017 05:26
- Keywords: Ben Jacobs Republican Rob Quist Gianforte Montana Guardian Greg Gianforte the Guardian newspaper congressional candidate
- Location: HELENA AND MISSOULA, MONTANA, UNITED STATES / INTERNET
- City: HELENA AND MISSOULA, MONTANA, UNITED STATES / INTERNET
- Country: USA
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0036IC545J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte was accused of physically assaulting a reporter on the campaign trail on Wednesday (May 24), the eve of a special election to fill the state's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ben Jacobs, a political correspondent for the U.S. edition of the Guardian newspaper, said in a Twitter post and in a television interview that Gianforte "body slammed" him, breaking his eyeglasses, at a campaign event in Bozeman.
The incident, capping a campaign watched as a possible bellwether for next year's mid-term congressional races, occurred as Jacobs was trying to ask Gianforte about healthcare, according to an audio tape captured by Jacobs and played on cable television networks MSNBC and CNN.
In a statement issued a short time later, the Gianforte campaign did not deny Jacobs' allegation but countered that he had instigated an altercation by barging into the candidate's office and shoved a recording device in the politician's face.
Gianforte, a tech executive, is running against Democrat Rob Quist, a banjo-playing political novice who hopes to pull off a surprise victory in the Republican-leaning state.
A victory for Quist could signal trouble ahead for President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans as they defend their 24-seat House majority in the 2018 mid-term elections. Quist and Gianforte are vying for the House seat vacated when Trump named Ryan Zinke as U.S. interior secretary.
Quist, attending another campaign event in Missoula, declined to comment on early reports of Wednesday's incident.
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