US Democrats torch Montana Republican rival Greg Gianforte over alleged body slamming incident

Greg gianforteJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesRepublican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte talks with a supporter during a campaign meet and greet at Lambros Real Estate on May 24, 2017 in Missoula, Montana.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) called on Republican Greg Gianforte to “immediately withdraw his candidacy,” from Montana’s House special election after he was accused of body slamming The Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs.

The DCCC statement continued, saying House Speaker Paul Ryan and the National Republican Campaign Committee “should not waste another minute before publicly denouncing their candidate and apologizing for the millions of dollars they spent on his behalf.”

Jacobs was asking Gianforte questions about the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment on the American Health Care Act at Gianforte’s campaign event in Bozeman, Montana, when Gianforte allegedly bodyslammed Jacobs, breaking the journalist’s glasses. Jacobs was taken away in an ambulance, and Gianforte left his own campaign event over an hour early.

Gianforte’s team released a statement that attemped to shift blame to the reporter, saying in part: “Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.”

Critics have argued that audio of the encounter seemed to contradict parts of Gianforte’s statement.

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