What to know about Montana Republican Greg Gianforte

"If he wins, he has been chosen by the people of Montana who their congressman is going to be".

"It definitely started before Trump, but he definitely exacerbated it", said Kelly McBride, a vice president at the Poynter Institute, a media think tank and training center in St. Petersburg, Florida.

However, at least a third of the anticipated votes had already been cast by Monday, according to the Montana Secretary of State.

Speaker Paul Ryan said Greg Gianforte should apologize, but the GOP leader did not disavow Gianforte's candidacy or call on him to drop out.

If convicted, he would face a maximum fine of 500 U.S. dollars (£385) or six months in jail. Authorities said Jacobs' injuries weren't severe enough for a felony assault charge.

The sheriff, Brian Gootkin, noted in response to questions that he had made a US$250 contribution to Gianforte's campaign.

Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for The Guardian, approached former technology executive Gianforte at a meet-and-greet event at the candidate's office in Bozeman, according to Jacobs, fellow reporter Alexis Levinson of Buzzfeed News, who was nearby and heard the commotion, and journalists with Fox News who witnessed the incident.

The scuffle began when Jacobs was questioning Gianforte about the CBO score of so-called Trumpcare, the AHCA bill that passed the House but still may have months before the Senate passes the bill on to Trump for his signature. "Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of 'I'm sick and exhausted of this!'"

"You know, the body-slam - being picked up in the air and thrown to the ground - it's all in someone's interpretation of what someone thinks a body-slam really is", Mullin said. If Gianforte is elected, he'd essentially have violated those guidelines before he got there.

Gianforte, meanwhile, has been silent about the incident. It contends he "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face and began asking badgering questions" before being asked to leave. The exchange was recorded by Jacobs and later released to public by the Guardian.

The 45-second recording does not contain a request from Gianforte that Jacobs lower his phone.

Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna said she and two members of her production crew - field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey - witnessed the incident first hand.

Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

And all this reporting is to ask lawmakers the questions they sometimes don't want to answer, or have avoided in their press statements - to get their real-time reactions before their communications directors have time to feed them the politically appropriate lines. He said of the politician's account "The only thing that is factually correct.is my name and place of employment".

"We are also sick and exhausted a of Gianforte's incessant attacks on the free press", the Helena Independent Record wrote.

On top of all that, President Donald Trump recorded a robocall in support of Gianforte, urging his supporters to get out and vote.

Gianforte, who has tried to align himself with Trump, said the reporter was being aggressive and grabbed him by the wrist.

Not exactly. The state has been dependably Republican in presidential elections, but the state has a Democratic governor - Steve Bullock - who was re-elected the same night that Trump won. "The Republican candidate for Congress not only lost the endorsement of this newspaper Wednesday night ... he should lose the confidence of all Montanans..." The Committee called for Gianforte to quit the race. The seat, Montana's only House seat, has been held by Republicans since 1996.

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