On the eve of the special election in Montana, Greg Gianforte made waves across the internet for “bodyslamming” a reporter for The Guardian, Ben Jacobs, at a campaign event. Jacobs was attempting to interview Gianforte when the Montana republican became irate and allegedly assaulted the reporter, breaking his glasses in the process.
Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) May 24, 2017
While Gianforte’s spokesman denied any responsibility for the attack, a FOX News crew, who was present and witnessed the attack, corroborated Jacobs’ story.
Immediately following the incident, Gianforte’s spokesman, Shane Scanlon, released a statement diffusing responsibility for the attack.
In the statement, Gianforte’s spokesman alleged that it was Jacobs who assaulted the candidate. “Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our volunteer BBQ.”
However, The Guardian then released audio from the attack, which seems to directly contradict Gianforte’s statement.
“You just bodyslammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacobs can be heard saying to Gianforte after an obvious scuffle. “You’d like me to get the hell out of here, I’d also like to call the police. Can I get your guy’s names?”
However, a crew from FOX News Channel, who was preparing a story about Thursday’s special election for “Special Report with Bret Baier,” corroborated Jacobs story.
Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of “I’m sick and tired of this!”
Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. He then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.
To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.
With this latest bombshell report, not only is Gianforte undoubtedly in serious legal trouble, but he has been proven a liar with his ridiculously transparent press release. I would venture to say that the people of Montana are not ready to elect yet another politician under investigation to represent them in Washington, D.C.
Read the entire FOX News report here.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.