Montana Republican Who Roughed Up Reporter Wins House Seat

29 May, 2017, 10:27 | Author: Roberto Lindsey

Republican Greg Gianforte has won a special election in the U.S. state of Montana - only a day after being charged with assault for allegedly "body slamming" a reporter.

"Great win in Montana", Trump told reporters in Italy today without being asked, according to pool reports.

Montana's Republican senator and House Speaker Paul Ryan had called on Gianforte to apologize on Thursday. Approached by Ben Jacobs of The Guardian and pressed about the Congressional Budget Office score for the American Health Care Act, Gianforte reportedly grabbed Jacobs by the throat and slammed him to the ground, breaking his glasses.

"Last night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can't take back, and I'm not proud of what happened", Gianforte said.

"All of a sudden, what happened there in Montana, apparently this snowflake reporter invaded Gianforte's safe space", O'Neill said.

The Gianforte campaign had earlier accused Mr Jacobs of entering the office "without permission" and shoving "a recorder in Greg's face".

New York Magazine cited sources close to KECI's news director, Julie Weindel, who told NBC News, "The person that tweeted [Jacobs] and was allegedly body slammed is a reporter for a politically biased publication". "And we've really got to say, 'Come on, behave, behave"'.

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Democrats have been trying hard to win special elections since Trump's victory, but so far have failed.

By the way, I voted early previous year just to see how the process worked.

The special election was triggered after Montana's previous representative, Ryan Zinke, was appointed as US Secretary of the Interior. Trump won Montana by 20.6 percent over Hillary Clinton in November. After his campaign initially issued a statement blaming the reporter, Gianforte stayed out of sight until the polls closed Thursday evening.

"When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it", he said.

Since around two-thirds of votes were cast before Election Day, the effect of the assault charge against Gianforte was unclear.

At his victory celebration, Gianforte apologized to Jacobs by name. "Democrats who have won statewide in Montana tend to be moderate, and Quist is no moderate". Outside Republican groups spent significantly more than their Democratic counterparts - $5.6 million to about $1 million, a fact that might cause progressives to ask why the national party didn't jump in sooner to boost Quist.

Democratic attacks against Gianforte centered around an easement disagreement he had with the state over a boundary along the East Gallatin River, which Democrats used to paint Gianforte as against public lands.


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