Alicia Acuna, a reporter employed by Fox News, said in the media website that Gianforte was supposed to get interviewed in his campaign headquarters. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter.
Gianforte's chances at election victory were threatened by scandal on Wednesday, a night before polls opened, when he was charged with misdemeanor assault. Gianforte is scheduled to go before a judge by June 7.
That version seems to conflict with the tone of the audio, in which Gianforte can be heard yelling, saying "I am sick and exhausted of you guys" at one point. The reporter, Ben Jacobs, was attempting to ask Gianforte about Republicans' plans for health care and interrupted a Fox News interview as they were setting up.
It's not clear what effect Gianforte's assault charge would have on the race, as 37 percent of the 699,207 registered voters had already submitted absentee ballots, according to state election officials.
But he said he would "let the people of Montana decide who they want as their representative", and accept Gianforte in the House if he wins.
Several hours later, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said that Gianforte was cited after an investigation determined there was probable cause.
Gianforte's campaign says Jacobs entered the office without permission, shoved a recorder in the candidate's face, and asked badgering questions.
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