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Reporter allegedly assaulted by GOP candidate says official explanation was a lie

The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs may have become a factor in how Montanans vote today. Residents head to the polls to decide who will become the state’s next member of the House of Representatives.

Last night, after Jacobs asked the republican candidate Greg Gianforte a question, the candidate allegedly lost his temper and “body slammed” the reporter. Gianforte was quickly charged with misdemeanor assault.

The campaign claimed it was Jacobs’ aggressive behavior that landed him on the ground. But when Jacobs talked to VICE News today, he pushed back on that. “It wasn’t a private office it was an open, open space. That there wasn’t, you know, a door that I pushed through or crawled through a window… This was a public event,” Jacobs said.

He is attempting to extricate himself from the story as much as possible. “It’s not about me,” Jacobs said. “This is about reporters being able to ask basic policy questions of candidates on important issues of the day and be able to…expect to not get violently assaulted in the course of doing that.”

While all of this could affect the way some people vote today, more than a third of registered voters in Montana had already cast their mail-in ballots before the incident happened.