Montana GOP official: I 'would have shot' reporter assaulted by Gianforte
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A Montana GOP official said she “would have shot” a reporter that was assaulted by Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) if the reporter had approached her the way he had Gianforte.

Karen Marshall, the vice president of programs for Gallatin County Republican Women, told the Voices of Montana radio program Thursday that she would have shot Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs if she had been in Gianforte’s place, according to The Guardian.

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“If that kid had done to me what he did to Greg, I would have shot him,” Marshall said.

Gianforte pled guilty to misdemeanor assault after the incident and apologized.

Gianforte body-slammed Jacobs to the ground, broke his glasses and punched him after Jacobs attempted to ask the candidate a question at his campaign headquarters the night before the Montana special election in May.

“That kid came on private property, came into a private building and went into a very private room that I would not even have gone into,” Marshall said. “It was a set-up. A complete set-up. He just pushed a little too hard.”

Gianforte spokesperson Travis Hall told the Helena Independent Record that “Greg disagrees with those remarks, repudiates them and remains focused on being a strong voice for Montana in Washington.”

Gianforte easily won the election the day after the assault and was sworn into Congress in June. He was sentenced to community service and to attend anger management classes.

Gianforte also donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, but Jacobs has criticized the lawmaker for refusing to sit down for an interview with him after Gianforte promised to do so.