On Wednesday night, Greg Gianforte — a Montana GOP candidate in a special election for a U.S. House of Representatives seat — allegedly body slammed a journalist. Some folks thought such an act was not unrelated to President Trump’s combative way of dealing with the press. Hours later, Gianforte was charged with assault, and some Fox News staffers revealed how brutal the display really was. Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that the dilemma should be left to voters, and on Thursday, they chose Gianforte.
In the quest for Interior Secretary Ryan Zenke’s vacated seat, Gianforte captured an estimated 50.3% of the vote with Democrat Rob Quist bringing in 43.9%. Although this may seem like a shocking result, it can (at least) partially be explained by two-thirds of Montana voters opting to cast their ballots early. Indeed, it’s no wonder that Gianforte did not drop out of the race, for he had long been favored to win.
CNN reports that Gianforte’s watch party supporters appeared completely “unfazed” by the late-breaking (and violent) development in this election. One female voter claimed that the incident revealed how the “the press is one-sided,” and her husband maintained that Gianforte was “set up.” However, Gianforte appeared to admit to assaulting Jacobs in his acceptance speech (which you can watch below) when he apologized to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs — although for undoubtedly legal reasons, he stayed vague and stopped short of actually admitting to an assault:
“When you make a mistake you have to own up to it …. last night, I made a mistake. I took an action that I can’t take back … and I’m not proud of what happened … I should not have treated that reporter that way. And for that, I’m sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs.”
— CNN (@CNN) May 26, 2017