Montana GOP candidate allegedly body slams Guardian reporter

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Gianforte is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between Wednesday night and June 7.

Local law enforcement was contacted about the incident, with the Gallatin County Sherriff's Office saying it was now investigating allegations of an assault involving Gianforte, NBC News reported.

The incident is a last-minute curveball in Thursday's race, which was partly seen as a referendum on Donald Trump's presidency.

The altercation took place Wednesday at Gianforte's campaign headquarters in Bozeman. That business sold to Oracle for $1.8 billion in January 2012.

The network also ran a chyron that simply read, "Gianforte blames reporter for incident".

The Guardian posted an audio recording of the encounter today.

It begins with the journalist, Ben Jacobs of The Guardian, asking Gianforte two questions about the GOP's healthcare bill.

When Mr Jacobs says that there will not be time, Mr Gianforte says "just -" and there is a crashing sound. "I'm just curious about how you'd react right now". While there is no video footage of the incident, an audio recording also backs up Jacobs' account and contradicts the account given by Gianforte's spokesperson, both given below.

"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte says. "You with the Guardian?". Jacobs was later taken to an ambulance, where he took a photo of his glasses, which he claims were broken during the fight. The last guy did the same thing. You know, the thing that apparently gets you body-slammed these days. "Gianforte's campaign says the men both fell". "Can I get you guys' names?"

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The Montana contest has become the focus of national attention as Democratic enthusiasm has made traditionally safe red districts competitive.

Scanlon: "You've got to leave".

Acuna was in the room during the incident.

Gianforte's story was demolished by eyewitness accounts from Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna, field producer Faith Mangan, and photographer Keith Railey.

"I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter".

Earlier in May, Gianforte defended his decision to donate to an accused white supremacist, Taylor Rose, by saying "I was unaware of some of his views and we supported him because we supported all (Republican) candidates in the last election".

Jacobs immediately filed a police report, but Gianforte reportedly left without speaking.

"[Jacobs] entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face, and began asking badgering questions", Scanlon said.

Ryan said it is "not our choice", when asked whether he would seat Gianforte, if elected to Congress. The Sheriff's department said in its statement that Jacobs' injuries did not meet the legal definition of felony assault. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face.

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