‘Gianforte Grabbed Jacobs by the Neck With Both Hands and Slammed Him Into the Ground’
Hours before the polls open to fill Montana’s U.S. House of Representatives seat in a special election on Thursday, the Republican candidate for that seat physically attacked a reporter who was asking him a question about health care. To make matters worse, the candidate,Â Greg Gianforte, then blamed the reporter in a press release, and even sent out a fundraising email asking for help to “fight back.”
If conservatives try to claim this is “fake news,” they’ll have to contend with the Fox News crew who were in the room when it happened.
“The race to fill Montana’s sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives took a violent turn Wednesday, and a crew from the Fox News Channel, including myself, witnessed it firsthand,”Â Alicia Acuna, a Fox News Channel veteran reporter since 1997, said in her article detailing Wednesday night’s stunning events.
Acuna reports that The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs “walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte’s face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.”
And that’s whenÂ Gianforte turned violent, according to the Fox News report.
“At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him,” Acuna says. Â
Referring to her crew, she writes, “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!'”
“Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. Jacobs then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.”
Acuna continues: “To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.”
TheÂ Gianforte campaign issued a statement that is wildly different from the eyewitness accounts of the Fox News crew who were there in the room.
Here’s the campaign’s statement:
Gianforte campaign statement. pic.twitter.com/GLwN8wKEUg
â€” Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) May 25, 2017
It claims BenÂ Jacobs “entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Gregâ€™s face and began asking badgering questions.”
Even if that were true, that’s what reporters do.
Then the statement dramatically veers away from Jacobs’ account, and the Fox News report.
“Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face,” the statement reads. “Jacobs grabbed Gregâ€™s wrist and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground,” it claims. Again, Acuna stated, “at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte.”
Just for good measure, the Gianforte campaign then says, “it’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene.”
According to the Fox News report, that’s just plain false.
Here are a few screenshots of the fundraising email from Gianforte:
A one two punch, so to speak? pic.twitter.com/1FhnsUze5e
â€” john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) May 25, 2017
â€” Michael Kordenbrock (@BGKord) May 25, 2017
Gianforte’s social media accounts don’t even mention the attack.Â
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Undercover Operatives Waged Sting Operation to Discredit ‘Deep State’ Officials on Trump’s Enemies List: NYT
Undercover operatives from right wing Project Veritas worked with a former British spy trained by Betsy DeVos’ brother Erik Prince to wage a smear and sting operation to discredit “deep state” federal government officials on President Donald Trump’s enemies list while he was in office, including the National Security Advisor and FBI agents.
The New York Times broke the bombshell story, reporting that the “campaign included a planned sting operation against Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, and secret surveillance operations against F.B.I. employees, aimed at exposing anti-Trump sentiment in the bureau’s ranks.”
“The campaign,” the Times reports, “shows the obsession that some of Mr. Trump’s allies had about a shadowy ‘deep state’ trying to blunt his agenda — and the lengths that some were willing to go to try to purge the government of those believed to be disloyal to the president.”
“Central to the effort, according to interviews, was Richard Seddon, a former undercover British spy who was recruited in 2016 by the security contractor Erik Prince to train Project Veritas operatives to infiltrate trade unions, Democratic congressional campaigns and other targets. He ran field operations for Project Veritas until mid-2018.”
Last year, The New York Times reported that Mr. Seddon ran an expansive effort to gain access to the unions and campaigns and led a hiring effort that nearly tripled the number of the group’s operatives, according to interviews and deposition testimony. He trained operatives at the Prince family ranch in Wyoming.
The Times’ extensive reporting, which runs about 2700 words, does not reveal who initiated or who bankrolled the campaign.
The Times reports the operation was run out of a house that rented for $10,000 a month, and that it is not known if President Trump or his closest advisors, including family members, were aware of the operation or had anything to do with it.
“The operation against Mr. McMaster was hatched not long after an article appeared in BuzzFeed News about a private dinner in 2017. Exactly what happened during the dinner is in dispute, but the article said that Mr. McMaster had disparaged Mr. Trump by calling him an ‘idiot’ with the intelligence of a ‘kindergartner.'”
Those allegations were never proven, although they echo what some others inside the administration, like first Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, had allegedly stated.
In the end, McMaster resigned amid far right-wing attacks, but no recordings of him calling Trump an “idiot.”
Read the entire New York Times investigation here.
Newsmax Host Off Air After Online Outrage Over Antisemitic Remarks
Newsmax TV host Grant Stinchfield will be off the air for the remainder of the week after massive outrage over his antisemitic remarks Wednesday night. Stinchfield claimed that American Jews’ “home country” is actually Israel, not the U.S., in a rant attacking President Joe Biden.
“If you are Jewish and you are a Democrat and you are living in America today, how do you support an administration that turns its back on your home country?” Stinchfield had said, as Media Matters reported.
Outrage, especially from Americans who also identify as Jewish, was massive, as NCRM documented.
In March Stinchfield came under attack after claiming there was a “strong case” that President Joe Biden is “not really a Catholic.”
Active Duty US Marine Corps Officer Arrested for Alleged Role in January 6 Insurrection: DOJ
The U.S. Dept. of Justice has announced the arrest of a 40-year old active duty U.S. Marine, a commissioned officer stationed at Quantico, for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection.
Citing court documents and security camera footage, DOJ in a statement says Major Christopher Warnagiris “violently entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, after pushing through a line of police officers guarding the East Rotunda doors. Once inside, Warnagiris positioned himself in the corner of the doorway, using his body to keep the door open and pull others inside. When a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer tried to pull the doors shut, Warnagiris refused and continued pushing it open. Warnagiris can be seen pushing the officer in an effort to maintain his position in the open door in security camera footage and publicly available video footage captured shortly after 2:25 p.m.”
Warnagiris “is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; and obstruction of justice, among other charges. Warnagiris will make his initial court appearance today at 2:00 p.m. in the Eastern District of Virginia,” the DOJ said.
HuffPost senior justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly adds:
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) May 13, 2021
On Wednesday several Republican members of Congress stated: “There was no insurrection. To call it an insurrection is a bold-faced lie,” the insurrectionists were merely “peaceful protestors,” and the attack on the U.S. Capitol looked like “a normal tourist visit.”
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