Witness to Gianforte “Body-Slamming” an Aggressive Reporter Changes Her Story

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A reporter who witnessed the alleged assault of a Guardian reporter by GOP candidate Greg Gianforte said she misstated some details in her account of the assault in and interview with Laura Ingraham, Lifezette reported.

Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs claimed Gianforte body-slammed him and broke his glasses at a campaign event Wednesday. Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna described the event in a similar vein but is walking it back a bit.

Local authorities brought misdemeanor assault charges against Gianforte.

There was no video, just audio and a handful of eyewitnesses including Alicia Acuna who is changing some details of her account.

She originally reported that Jacobs aggressively questioned Gianforte and then: “At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’”

On Fox News Wednesday evening she again said: “Gianforte grabbed [Jacobs] by the neck, slid him to the side, and body-slammed him, and then got on top of him and started punching.”

During a Thursday interview on “The Laura Ingraham Show” she admitted she misstated the neck grab, Lifezette reported.

“One of you guys said last night that he put his hands around his neck,” Ingraham said. “Which, as somebody who’s done a lot of taekwondo and self-defense, to me that seemed, that might not be exactly right.”

“You know, and I’m the one who said that,” Acuna replied, “I saw both his hands go up, not around his neck in a strangling type of way, but more just on each side of his neck, just grabbed him and I guess it could’ve been on his clothes, I don’t know.”

Ingraham asked Acuna if she was changing her story.

“Again, just to clarify, he didn’t grab him by the neck with both hands in the way that was initially described, that’s not quite accurate,” Ingraham asked.

“​No, so it wasn’t like he grabbed him around the neck, he had one hand on each side of his neck,” Acuna confirmed.

Gianforte’s campaign released a statement about the assault:

“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,” the statement read. “Jacobs was asked to leave.”

“Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face,” the Gianforte statement continues, “Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.”

People on Twitter who claim to be eyewitnesses to the alleged assault said that when the reporter pushed his phone in Gianforte’s face, Gianforte grabbed his wrist and they both fell down.

The media is providing wall-to-wall coverage of this but they don’t do it when the opposition is being attacked.

We’re not condoning violence but maybe people should let this play out before they accept any one version though it looks bad for Gianforte.

This is the audio.


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