Franks Blames ‘the Left’ for Gianforte’s Body Slam

Arizona Republicans says there has been ‘confrontational attitude for several months now’

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said he has faced physical confrontations with activists, even at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Montana’s incoming congressman Greg Gianforte faced muted criticism from his future Republican colleagues for allegedly assaulting a reporter.

But Arizona Rep. Trent Franks put the blame on the left in an interview Thursday with news radio station KTAR in Phoenix.

“I have said and stand by the notion that the left has created a polarization and kind of a violent, confrontational attitude for several months now in any sort of political gatherings of any kind,” he said.

Franks said he has faced physical confrontations from activists, even at President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.

“I couldn’t walk into the street without them jumping in front of me and trying to bump into me and push me back,” he said.

Gianforte was cited for misdemeanor assault after a recording from Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs and witnesses claimed Gianforte body-slammed and punched Jacobs.

Gianforte beat Democratic candidate Rob Quist in a special election on Thursday to replace former Rep. Ryan Zinke, who is now Trump’s secretary of Interior.

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