Montana GOP official ‘would have shot’ reporter assaulted by Greg Gianforte


A local Republican party official in Montana offered a vivid defense of Rep. Greg Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a reporter in May.

“If that kid had done to me what he did to Greg, I would have shot him,” said Karen Marshall, an official with the Gallatin County GOP Women, according to the Helena Independent Record.

Gianforte drew national criticism when he assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs one day before winning a special election to fill the seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The altercation was occasioned by the reporter asking about pending Republican healthcare proposals. Gianforte won the race the next day, apologized, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.

“This decision should remind all those in positions of authority that a free press, like freedom of speech, is one of the building blocks of American democracy, established under the First Amendment,” Guardian U.S. editor Lee Glendinning told the Washington Examiner after the lawmaker was fined and ordered to fulfill to community service and anger management classes.

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