Montana’s Greg Gianforte Cancels TV Appearances After Assault Charge

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

Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault several hours after an altercation with a reporter.

A Fox News spokeswoman said that his campaign canceled an appearance scheduled for Thursday. “Meet the Press” tweeted that he had canceled a scheduled appearance with Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press Daily.”

Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for the Guardian, says that Gianforte “body slammed” him and broke his glasses at his campaign headquarters on Wednesday. The Guardian posted audio of the incident, in which Jacobs attempts to ask Greg Gianforte about healthcare, but then there is the sound of a scuffle and Gianforte shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

The incident was witnessed by a Fox News reporter, photographer and producer. Reporter Alicia Acuna wrote that “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!’”

On Fox News on Thursday, Acuna said that she was about two feet away during the incident.

Several hours later, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said that Gianforte was cited after an investigation determined there was probable cause. He is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between now and June 7, 2017.

Three Montana newspapers — the Billings Gazette, the the Helena Independent Record and the Missoulan — pulled their endorsements of Gianforte.

“There is no time when a physical altercation should occur with the press, or just between human beings,” Ryan said at a press conference. “So that is wrong and should not have…

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