Trump-supporting Republican candidate 'body-slams' journalist

Greg Gianforte (Getty)
Greg Gianforte (Getty)

A Republican candidate in Montana has been accused of body-slamming a reporter, breaking his glasses.

Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for UK paper The Guardian, was asking Greg Gianforte questions about the controversial Republican healthcare plan when the incident occurred.

In audio posted to the Guardian website, Mr Jacobs can be heard asking Mr Gianforte a question, but Mr Gianforte tells him to direct his questions to his campaign spokesman, Shane Scanlon.

The next few seconds are the sound of the two men grappling, with Mr Gianforte shouting, "I'm sick and tired of you guys! The last guy that came in here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here! Get the hell out of here!"

"You just broke my glasses," Mr Jacobs tells him. "You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses."

"Get the hell out of here," Mr Gianforte replies.

Mr Jacobs says he's going to call the police as the voice of a third man is heard, saying Mr Jacobs has "got to leave".

A statement released after the incident by the Gianforte campaign said it was "unfortunate that this aggressive behaviour from a liberal journalist created this scene", blaming Mr Jacobs for not lowering his recorder when asked.

At no point in the audio recording released by the Guardian is Mr Jacobs asked to lower his recorder.

Mr Gianforte, a tech millionaire and Donald Trump supporter, is running for Montana's congressional seat.

Buzzfeed reporter Alexis Levinson saw part of the incident, and her account backed Mr Jacobs' version of events.

"I heard a giant crash and saw Ben's feet fly in the air as he hit the floor," she tweeted.

The Gallatin County sheriff's office is investigating the incident.