"Great win in Montana", Trump told reporters as he arrived in Italy for a meeting of the G-7 nations as part of his first foreign trip as president, The Hill reports. But Steve Daines, a GOP senator from Montana, and House speaker Paul Ryan both called on Gianforte to apologize.
Witnesses said Gianforte body-slammed Ben Jacobs on Wednesday after The Guardian reporter asked him a question about the GOP's controversial plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin answers questions Thursday, May 25, 2017, at a Bozeman, Mont., press conference about Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte's misdemeanor assault charge.
"Last night I made a mistake and I took an action that I can't take back", he said. "He might have muttered his name once or twice when he was running against me and now he wants to "drain the swamp" and says, 'I want to be with Trump every step of the way'".
"You just body slammed me and broke my glasses", Jacobs said moments later.
Gianforte ran for governor in Montana last fall as a moderate supporter Donald Trump supporter.
"I would rather not have seen that situation, but if you have somebody sticking a phone in your face, a mic in your face, over and over, and you don't know how to deal with the situation, you haven't really done that, you haven't dealt with that, I can see where it can. make you a little angry", Scott said. He ended up winning the special election, but before that was determined, late-night hosts weighed in on the alleged assault.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and MoveOn.org used the Wednesday night incident, involving reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian, in online and radio ads to spur last-minute voter registration and turnout.
Already, Montana's weird special election and Gianforte's win are being cast as a referendum on events in Washington and a projection of what's to come.
The special election was triggered after Montana's previous representative, Ryan Zinke, was appointed as US Secretary of the Interior.
Saying it was coming from "his heart", Gianforte said that "when you make a mistake, you have to own up to it..." Democratic enthusiasm up, Gianforte wins despite reporter assault controversy. Gianforte appeared with Donald Trump, Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence; the Democrat rallied with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Sen. Trump won Montana by 20.6 percent over Hillary Clinton in November. "Democrats who have won statewide in Montana tend to be moderate, and Quist is no moderate". Daines said that fact-Quist's embrace of the Democratic left in a state that typically rewards Democratic moderates-would sink Quist.