Who is Greg Gianforte?

Reporter on Montana altercation: I was vertical one moment and horizontal the next

Reporter on Montana altercation: I was vertical one moment and horizontal the next

Greg Gianforte, the GOP House candidate in Montana who was neck-and-neck with his Democratic opponent before Thursday's special election, was cited for misdemeanor assault after an incident with a newspaper reporter, just hours before polls open.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin told the press that Jacobs had been taken to the hospital and later released.

A report from Fox News staff who witnessed the altercation said: 'Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.

Gianforte faces a $US500 ($A667) fine and six months in jail if convicted.

"The only thing in the Gianforte statement that is factually correct is my name and my place of employment", Jacobs said.

Jacobs responded that he has worked with a number of Republican politicians, but has never had an encounter as unusual as the one with Gianforte.

The statement goes on to say that Jacobs was asked to lower the recorder, but did not.

"Greg Gianforte defending himself after he's accused of body-slamming a Guardian reporter", Fox News' Jillian Mele said on the air.

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A Fox News team in the room when a Guardian reporter said a Montana congressional candidate body-slammed him described a scene that contradicts the account of Greg Gianforte's press secretary. "Jacobs was asked to leave", spokesperson Shane Scanlon said.

Quist and Gianforte are vying for the House seat vacated after Trump named Ryan Zinke as United States interior secretary. Buoyed by massive fundraising and high-profile support from the likes of Bernie Sanders, Democrat Rob Quist had cut Gianforte's lead to single digits.

"They got my name right and my employer right, but other than that, there was not a single correct element there", he said.

Acuna, her field producer and photographer then "watched in disbelief as Gianforte began punching (Jacobs) as he moved to top of the reporter". "The last guy did the same damn thing".

However, the media world and Jacobs' fellow reporters did not accept the explanation, and many called for Gianforte to be arrested.

In a statement, Gianforte's campaign doubled down on the incident and blamed it on "aggressive behavior by a liberal journalist".

In an interview on MSNBC Wednesday evening, Jacobs elaborated, saying that he had "been pressing the campaign for a few days to grab Gianforte one-on-one" and after being rebuked, attempted to ask about the CBO score "while he was just standing around".

"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte said. "The candidate says that reporter tried to push a phone in his face..."