The Montana special election heated up in a big way on the eve before voters choose a new House member when a national political reporter for a British newspaper claimed he was “body slammed” by the GOP candidate.
Photos emerged from the scene.
Ben Jacobs, the reporter for the Guardian, who has written some hard-hitting pieces on GOP candidate Greg Gianforte, launched the allegation on Twitter and reportedly made a complaint to police.
Reporters at the scene captured photos of the law enforcement and medics responding.
“Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacobs wrote on Twitter. Other reporters were at the scene, and Jacobs wrote that there was a record of what happened. He also tweeted, ““There was a local TV crew there when Gianforte body slammed me. Audio is posting soon at @GuardianUS.”
Here’s Gianforte’s side:
Here’s the audio:
And the Guardian’s take:
Reporters tweeted that Jacobs had gone to the hospital to get an X-ray and that he had made a complaint with police on the incident.
The dramatic claim came the day before the election. The Montana special election is being closely watched around the country because the state went overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump. However, the race was said by many observers to now be closer than expected, with Gianforte, the Republican candidate still favored, but not as overwhelmingly as might be expected in such a Republican state. Country singer Rob Quist is squaring off against Gianforte as the Democratic candidate in the race.
The election is to replace Ryan Zinke, whom President Trump named his Interior Secretary. The key issue in the race appears to be Gianforte’s support for the GOP repeal of Obamacare, and it’s said to be a bellwether for the Republican approach to healthcare as well as for Trump.
According to his bio on The Guardian website, Jacobs is based in Washington D.C. for the British newspaper, and he is a former reporter for the Daily Beast.