Key Montana Newspapers pull Gianforte approval after the incident

The Billings Gazette wrote in an editorial late on Wednesday declared that he has resigned his endorsement of GOP house hopeful Greg Gianforte, following allegations that he attacked a news reporter.

The paper called for his last-minute decision to move to a “without precedent.” The column began: “We are at a loss for words.”

“If what was heard on the tape and described by eye-witnesses of the incident is exactly in Bozeman, is nothing less than coercion. We would not tolerate if it happens on the road. We would not tolerate if it happened in a house or even a late-night bar fight. And we could not accept, when it wrote of a man, Montana’s lone member of Congress to be executed,” the paper.

The incident occurred Wednesday evening at Gianforte campaign headquarters. The candidate was asked of Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, and was asked about the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act.

Jacobs, apparently, persistent and according to a Fox-News-team— Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands, and slammed him into the ground behind him.”

Alicia Acuna, Fox News reporter, who wrote that she “watched in disbelief” as Gianforte then began punching the reporter.

A statement from Gianforte, the campaign later said, “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.”

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it accused of probable cause to issue a citation, but the type of injuries that “do not meet the statutory elements of a criminal offense.”

Federal records show that the sheriff donated $250 to Gianforte, the congressional campaign in March. In his statement, Gootkin, the donation was confirmed, but said, “This post has nothing to do with our investigation, which is now complete.”

The Missoulian, a different paper, which was endorsed by Gianforte, wrote: “there is no doubt that Gianforte is committed, an act of terrible judgment, that, if it is not in the land him in jail, not land him in the U.S. house of representatives.”

Gianforte is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between Wednesday night and Saturday, 7. June. He would be sentenced to a maximum fine of 500 dollars or six months in jail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Edmund DeMarche is a news editor for Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.

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