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Greg Gianforte Blames ‘Liberal Journalist’ Reporter He Body-Slammed For ‘Aggressive Behavior’

The hotly contested Montana congressional race heated up last night, when GOP candidate Greg Gianforte body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs and broke his glasses on the eve of the election.

The incident — first reported by Jacobs on Twitter — happened the night before Montana’s election, and was disputed by Gianforte’s campaign, in a statement on the incident, claiming Jacobs “aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face and began asking badgering questions.”

After asking Jacobs to leave, the statement claims that “liberal journalist” Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, forcing both to the ground.

But the “aggressive behavior” described in Gianforte’s statement is contradicted by Jacobs, audio recording of the incident, and multiple witness accounts.

In a recording released by the Guardian, Gianforte is not heard asking Jacobs to leave, nor is Jacobs heard acting aggressively.

Gianforte asks Jacobs to refer a question to a spokesman, before the crash of the body-slam is heard. Then, Gianforte shouts at Jacobs: “I’m sick and tired of you guys!” and “Get the hell out of here!” as Jacobs tells the candidate he had broken his glasses.

There were also witnesses: a Fox News crew, including reporter Alicia Acuna, who described the incident in a story:

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!”

Following the incident, Jacobs was treated at a local hospital and filed a police report. Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault, and will have to appear in court before June 7.

The election, between Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist, will be held on Thursday… aka TODAY!

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: [email protected] Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin