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Greg Gianforte-I'm sorry Mr. Ben Jacobs
by Nathan'ette Burdine: May 26, 2017
 


Last night during his victory speech, Greg Gianforte apologized to The Guardian’s reporter, Ben Jacobs, for allegedly assaulting him.

Gianforte told a crowd of his supporters, “I should not have responded in the way that I did. And for that, I’m sorry. I should not have treated that reporter that way. And for that, I’m sorry Mr. Ben Jacobs.”

A day before the special election, Gianforte and Jacobs got into an altercation. Jacobs alleged that Gianforte body slammed him so hard that he broke his glasses.

In the recording that Jacobs distributed out to several news outlets, he can be heard trying to get Gianforte to comment on the Congressional Budget’s Office report on the American Health Care Bill.

Gianforte tells him he will not comment and to speak to his spokesman, Shane Scanlon.

At this moment, Gianforte and Jacobs get into what sounds like a scuffle. Gianforte screams at Jacobs, “I’m sick and tired of you guys…Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. You with The Guardian.”

Jacobs tells him that he has just broken his glasses. Not fazed, Gianforte yells at him again to “Get the hell out of here.”

When Gianforte’s team was asked about the incident, Scanlon sent a statement in which he said that Jacobs was the aggressor.

Scanlon statement said, “After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacob grabbed Greg’s wrist and spun away from Greg, pushing them both into the ground…It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer barbeque.”

Scanlon’s description of the events did not coincide with what Jacobs or the FOX News team said occurred.

Alicia Acuna of FOX News witnessed the alleged event. And in an article published on FOX News, Acuna wrote, “Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon. At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him….As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he 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.”

Cuna went on to say that Jacobs was not the aggressor. She wrote, “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.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a statement in which he scolded Gianforte for his behavior. FOX News quoted the speaker as saying, “There’s never a call for physical altercations. That is wrong and it should not have happened. I think he should apologize.”

As a result of the alleged altercation, Gianforte decided not to do any national interviews. The Sheriff’s Office interviewed Jacobs, Gianforte, and the FOX News team that witnessed the alleged assault and decided to cite Gianforte for Misdemeanor Assault.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin wrote in the press release that he did not charge Gianforte with the more serious offense of felony assault because Jacobs injuries did not rise to that level.

Citing Montana’s statue, the sheriff stated that he did not charge Gianforte with felony assault because Jacobs did not suffer any “serious bodily injury” or “death.”

The case has been handed over to the prosecutor. Gianforte must appear before the court no later than June 7, 2017.

Although Gianforte had the altercation with Jacobs, it was expected that he would beat his Democratic opponent Rob Quist. The district the two were running in is a Republican stronghold. The last Republican to hold the seat was Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

Gianforte’s fate in congress will depend upon what happens in court. If he ends up in jail, which is unlikely, he will join former Republican Congressmen Trey Radel (FL) and Michael Grimm (NY) who both resigned from Congress in the midst of criminal investigations that ended with them either being convicted or pleading guilty to a crime.




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