To fill the race for Montana’s sole seat in the U.S. house of representatives took a violent turn Wednesday, and a crew from the Fox News Channel, including myself, experienced it first-Hand.
As part of our preparation for a story on the Thursday special election to air on “special report with Bret Baier” we arranged interviews with the top two candidates, the Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist. On Wednesday, I came in the manufacturers box, manganese and photographer Keith Railey in Bozeman for our planned interview with Gianforte Believe, that was on the Gianforte for Congress-Bozeman Headquarters.
Believe that Keith and I arrived early for the interview in an adjacent room to another room, where a volunteer BBQ to take place. As the time approached for the interview, Gianforte came in the room. We exchanged pleasantries and small talk about restaurants and Bozeman.
During the conversation, another man we know now, is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — went into the room with a voice recorder, set it up to Gianforte face and began to ask if him if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would be with him later. Jacobs remained with his question. Gianforte to speak to him, said his machine guy, Shane Scanlon.
At this point, 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 punching the reporter began. As Gianforte moved to the top of Jacobs, he began to shout, something to the effect of, “I’m sick and tired of this!”
Jacobs crawled on his knees and said something broke on his glasses. He asked Faith, Keith and me for our names. In shock, we have no answer. Jacobs said he wanted to called the police and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us, and repeatedly apologized. At this point, I told him, and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The Men On The Left.
Greg Gianforte just the body hit me and broke my glasses
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) May 24, 2017
To has to be clear, any time one of us see the witness of this attack, Jacobs show, any form of physical aggression against Gianforte, leave the area, after he statements to local Sheriff’s deputies.
For me and my crew, we the cooperation with the local authorities. It is not clear whether the charges filed against Gianforte at this time.
Scanlon later made a statement saying that Jacobs “in the [campaign] office, without permission, aggressively shoving a recorder in Greg’s face and began to ask, badgering questions.”
Later, the statement added, “After he refused to Jacobs on the bottom of the recorder, Jacobs. Greg then the phone tries to attack, that was shoved in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and turned away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It is unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene on our campaign as a volunteer barbecue.”
Alicia Acuna, Fox News Channel (FNC) entered into force in 1997 and currently serves as a General assignment reporter based in the network of the Denver office.