Guardian Reporter Says Gianforte Reneged on Promised Interview

Ben Jacobs says at least efforts to ‘avoid answering any questions from me have been non-violent’

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., during a swearing in ceremony in the Capitol before the actual event on the House floor in June. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The reporter who was assaulted by Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte said the Republican congressman reneged on a promised interview.


Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, who was body-slammed by the congressman the day before Montana’s special election, tweeted a statement saying Gianforte hadn’t fulfilled a commitment.



“From the beginning, I have tried to turn Congressman Gianforte’s assault against me into a positive experience,” Jacobs wrote, adding he never filed charges against the congressman and forgave him.


He said he did so because he hoped Gianforte’s actions were not indicative of his character.


“Instead, I have become increasingly convinced that those actions were a display of his true character,” Jacobs said.


Jacobs said Gianforte refused to do an on-the-record interview despite apologizing to him on Election Night and criticized Gianforte for attempting to avoid pleading guilty and having his mugshot taken.


“I can at least take some minor consolation that in the past two months, his efforts to avoid answering any questions from me have been non-violent,” his statement said.


Gianforte was cited for assaulting Jacobs and was later sentenced to community service and anger management counseling instead of jail time.


On Friday he had a mug shot taken and was fingerprinted after a judge ordered him to be booked. Gallatin County attorney Marty Lambert said his practice is not to release mug shots without a judge’s order. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle filed an application on the same day asking for a judge to release it.



Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.