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  • 05.24.17

Did Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte body slam a reporter today? Update: He did.

At an event in Montana this afternoon, Guardian political reporter Ben Jacobs tried to ask congressional candidate Greg Gianforte a question. A violent-sounding tussle then ensued, which resulted in Jacobs getting his glasses broken. 

Gianforte is a tech entrepreneur who sold a company to Oracle for $1.5 billion, catalyzing the state’s startup boom.

“You just body slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacobs can be heard saying in audio posted by the Guardian. “Get the hell out of here,” says a voice that sounds like Gianforte. 

Gianforte’s campaign released a statement confirming the altercation, and blamed the incident on “aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist.”

Here’s the Guardian‘s audio:

Update: A camera crew from Fox News Channel witnessed the altercation and confirmed Ben Jacobs’ account:

“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.”

Read their report here.

Second update: Greg Gianforte has received a citation for misdemeanor assault, the Gallatin County sheriff tells Politico.

 CGW