New Details Emerge in Montana Candidate-Reporter Scuffle
Early reports stated a journalist from The Guardian was tossed to the ground by congressional candidate Greg Gianforte. This followed a question from the reporter about the latest CBO reports on the House Republican's health care plan which passed earlier this month.
The initial reports of the altercation were a tad fuzzy.
An eyewitness -- a reporter from Fox News -- stated that the journalist was slammed to the ground:
Today the eyewitness admitted to the Laura Ingraham Show she may have embellished her story.
During that conversation, another man — who we now know is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte's face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. 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. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and tired of this!"
She told Laura “I saw both his hands go up, not around his neck in a strangling type of way, but more just on each side of his neck, just grabbed him and I guess it could’ve been on his clothes, I don’t know.”
Ingraham then asked her to clarify her story:
“Again, just to clarify, he didn’t grab him by the neck with both hands in the way that was initially described, that’s not quite accurate,” Ingraham asked at the end of the interview.
“No, so it wasn’t like he grabbed him around the neck, he had one hand on each side of his neck,” Acuna confirmed.
Regardless of the fuzzy details from last night's scuffle, it's played an impact on the races landscape.
Sources on the ground in Montana have told American Action News the campaign's final volunteer push is over the top. Gianforte's base has responded differently than anticipated as "random people" are showing up to volunteer and that voter response has been unexpectedly positive for Gianforte.
The election results will come in tonight. Current analysis from our Election Desk shows Gianforte is expected to win. He experienced a 14-point lead in polls from early May. His base appears to be extremely engaged and possibly at a higher magnitude following last night's incident.