Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) on Monday joked that the reporter who said he was “body slammed” by Republican Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte is lucky the GOP healthcare plan is not law.
“Thank goodness Trumpcare is not yet law. Injuries from Greg Gianforte assaults are still covered. He should also withdraw from the race,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
The tweet comes after Ben Jacobs of The Guardian accused Gianforte of body-slamming him at a campaign event in Montana on Wednesday night, the eve of the special election for the state’s lone congressional seat.
The Gianforte campaign in a statement doubled down on the incident, saying Jacobs exhibited “aggressive behavior.”
“Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions,” spokesman Shane Scanlon said.
“Jacobs was asked to leave. 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.”
Audio uploaded by the newspaper appears to contradict the campaign’s statement. Jacobs can be heard asking Gianforte about the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the GOP healthcare bill before shuffling and a loud bang.
“I’m sick and tired of you guys. The last time you came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. get the hell out of here,” Gianforte can be heard telling the reporter.
Sen. Chris MurphyChris MurphyDem rep jokes ‘body slammed’ reporter lucky GOP healthcare plan isn’t in place yet GOP senators distance themselves from House ObamaCare repeal bill Chris Murphy on Infowars’ White House press credentials: ‘I want to throw up’ MORE (D-Conn.) noted the apparent discrepancy on Twitter.
“Uh…there’s an audio tape, Shane. This isn’t what happened. Your guy went berserk when asked about the CBO score,” Murphy wrote, referencing Gianforte’s spokesman.
Gianforte on Thursday will face off against Democrat Rob Quist in the Montana special election for the seat vacated by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
Dem rep jokes ‘body slammed’ reporter lucky GOP healthcare plan isn’t in place yet