The Guardian has now posted audio of Montana Republican Greg Gianforte assaulting one of its reporters, Ben Jacobs, after Jacobs tried asking a question about the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal legislation at a Gianforte “meet-and-greet”:
Jacobs was taken to a local hospital. Police have arrived on scene and are questioning witnesses, but Gianforte has left the area. His campaign has, however, released a statement:
A transcript of the encounter is below:
Jacobs: … the CBO score. Because, you know, you’ve been waiting to make your decision about health care until you saw the bill, and it just came out …
Gianforte: We’ll talk to you about that later.
Jacobs: Yeah, but there’s not going to be time. I’m just curious …
Gianforte: Okay, speak with Shane, please.
Jacobs: But, you gotta …
[loud crunching noises]
Gianforte [screaming]: I’M SICK AND TIRED OF YOU GUYS!
Jacobs: Jesus Chr …
Gianforte: THE LAST GUY THAT CAME IN HERE—YOU DID THE SAME THING. GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!
Gianforte: GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! The last guy did the same thing. You with the Guardian?
Jacobs: Yes, and you just broke my glasses.
Gianforte: The last guy did the same damn thing.
Jacobs: You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses.
Gianforte: Get the hell out of here.
Jacobs: You’d like me to get the hell out of here, I’d also like to call the police. Can I get you guys’s names?
Man: Hey, you gotta leave.
Jacobs: He just body-slammed me.
Man: You gotta leave.