Trump exalts 'great win' for candidate charged with assault

The scene would not have been surprising a week ago, when Republican Greg Gianforte, a wealthy Bozeman businessman, was widely expected to win Montana's special election against folk singer Rob Quist.

Gianforte showed lukewarm support for Mr Trump during his unsuccessful run for governor in Montana last autumn but did an about-face and turned into an ebullient Trump supporter after he started campaigning for the congressional seat vacated by Republican Ryan Zinke, when he was tapped by Mr Trump to serve as Interior Department secretary.

During Fox News' coverage of the incident, it pointed out that three of its reporters had been eyewitnesses and confirmed the confrontation between Gianforte and Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. Being followed and questioned by quality, dogged reporters is commonplace on Capitol Hill, and it is unlikely the Capitol Police will tolerate body slamming.

Gianforte was cited for misdemeanor assault stemming from a scuffle in which the candidate allegedly "body slammed" Jacobs, who was asking a question. And no- please, I need to share something from my heart here, and I just ask you to bear with me.That when you make a mistake, you have to own up to it. That's the Montana way. "I'm not proud of what happened". I should not have responded the way I did. "This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics". But it was too late to do any more advertising.

A number of Montana newspapers withdrew their endorsement of Gianforte after the incident, but neither that nor the incident affected the outcome. In rural communities, Gianforte was the furthest from reaching the Trump election totals.

But Gianforte had taken two actions on Thursday night: allegedly attacking Jacobs and then issuing a statement blaming the Guardian reporter for having caused Gianforte to allegedly attack the "liberal journalist". The stage is prepared for the arrival of Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, who was seeking to become Montana's sole member in the U.S. House, at a hotel in Bozeman, Mont., Thursday, May 25, 2017.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday suggested that Gianforte's behavior was somewhat influenced by rough tactics exhibited by some of President Donald Trump's campaign supporters during rallies previous year.

The apology came after several GOP lawmakers called for Gianforte to say he was sorry to Jacobs.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel released a statement following Gianforte's victory approving of his decision to apologize. "That's the Montana way", said Gianforte.

"And we forgive you!" someone interrupted.

Gianforte must appear in court by June 7 on the misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine. Both candidates in the Montana contest were seen as flawed, but Quist in particular was a weak recruit for Democrats.

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