GOP Candidate Charged With "Body-Slamming" Reporter

Greg Gianforte, GOP candidate for Montana's special congressional election on Thursday, canceled two planned appearances on Fox News and MSNBC.

The altercation prompted lukewarm condemnation from some of Gianforte's fellow Republicans, one of whom said "the left" was to blame.

"Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault", the statement said.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Department cited Gianforte for misdemeanor assault, which carries a maximum penalty of $500 or six months in jail. Gianforte must appear in court before June 7, though a date has not been set.

Gianforte apologized in his victory speech: "When you make a mistake you have to own up to it. last night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can not take back". After Jacobs persisted, Gianforte "grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him", Acun said.

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It's not clear what effect Gianforte's assault charge would have on the race, as 37 percent of the 699,207 registered voters had already submitted absentee ballots, according to state election officials. "So that is wrong and it should not have happened. Yeah, I think he should apologize", said Ryan of Gianforte.

Gianforte campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon said the candidate was in a private office giving an interview when reporter Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission.

Asked if he would seat Gianforte in his conference should the Republican win Thursday night's election, Ryan said the choice was for the people of Montana to make.

The incident took place on Wednesday in Bozeman, Montana. Jacobs, who had previously broken a big story about the candidate's connections to sanctioned Russian companies, said he was "body slammed" by Gianforte and had his glasses broken.

But a 45-second recording that Jacobs released does not contain a request from Gianforte that Jacobs lower his phone.

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The Guardian's Ben Jacobs may have become a factor in how Montanans vote today.

Montana voters are choosing their new congressman amid a scandal in which a GOP candidate is accused of body-slamming a reporter.

Not exactly. The state has been dependably Republican in presidential elections, but the state has a Democratic governor - Steve Bullock - who was re-elected the same night that Trump won.

Gianforte has disappeared. He was last seen driving away from the incident and cancelled all appearances Thursday.

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