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‘Unexpected and Surreal’: Guardian Reporter Describes Getting Body-Slammed by Congressional Candidate

Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs shot back at Greg Gianforte’s statement after the Republican congressional candidate body-slammed him and broke his glasses Wednesday night.

Gianforte, who released a (fact-challenged) statement disputing Jacobs’ account of the incident, is set to face off with Democrat Rob Quist in Montana’s special election on Thursday. — AKA TODAY!

Jacobs joined New Day for his first interview since the incident, which landed Gianforte with a misdemeanor assault charge, and Chris Cuomo asked him whether the candidate’s statement was accurate.

Cuomo first asked if Jacobs had barged into a “private office,” as the statement alleges. Jacobs said it was in an open, public room, where Gianforte was chatting and “making small talk” with other reporters.

Cuomo also asked about the allegation that Jacobs first grabbed the candidates’ wrist.

“No, I mean the Gianforte statement, they got my name right they got my employer right, but other than that there was not a single factually correct element there, it was totally false,” Jacobs replied.

Jacobs also described the “unexpected and surreal” idea of a congressional candidate body slamming a reporter: “I’ve spent a lot of time reporting for Capital Hill, a lot of time asking politicians about health care, and it’s never ended in any sort of altercation.”

He also noted Gianforte has yet to reach out and apologize.

Cuomo noted an increasingly concerning “dynamic between politicians, specifically those on the right, and the media.”

Jacobs responded that he has worked with a number of Republican politicians, but has never had an encounter as unusual as the one with Gianforte.

“This is the first time and hopefully the last time I’ll ever get body-slammed by a politician,” Jacobs said.

[image via screengrab]

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