Trouble in the heartland

Many things have happened today: Russian intelligence agents discussed how to get suasion over candidate Donald Trump, the same president reveals locations of two America nuclear subs to the sociopath Filipino president who regards the drug war as an extension of personal loyalty, the attorney general may have failed to disclose meetings with the Russian ambassador, and former FBI director James Comey might have himself been swayed by fake news involving former attorney general Loretta Lynch and Hillary Clinton.

No. The biggest news emerges from Montana, by far the most interesting state from an electoral point of view when discussing states that swing GOP. Its citizens like Republican president but elect Democratic governors and legislators. The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs alleges that GOP at large candidate Greg Gianforte “body slammed” him after Jacobs asked him a question about the CBO score for the House kill-poor-people bill. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, the first to play the audio portion, leaves little doubt that the attack was egregious and unprovoked. Here is the account:

The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter.

“He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”
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Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. The Gallatin County sheriff’s office is investigating the incident.

A statement by campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon blamed Jacobs for the incident, saying that he “entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions”.

“Jacobs was asked to leave,” the statement reads. “After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.

“Spun away” is a phrase by a zealous PR person or a man who thinks “defensive driving” equals shooting a person who makes a U-turn at a busy intersection. At this moment police in Bozeman are taking statements.

Whether this means Democratic opponent Rob Quist, a folk singer who likes cowboy hats, has a chance is a question we’ll answer tomorrow night; I know the race was already tightening in the last week, the Quist campaign has gotten a million bucks in donations alone. Democrats in Montana thinking about staying home now have motivation. But in a party in which eighty percent of members support the president, and despite a candidate with a purported history of violence, it wouldn’t surprise me if The Guardian‘s leftism isn’t used against it.

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