A Montana Republican official on Thursday said she “would have shot” the reporter Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) body-slammed a day before he was elected to office.
“If that kid had done to me what he did to Greg, I would have shot him,” Karen Marshall, the vice president of programs for Gallatin County Republican Women, said on the “Voices of Montana” radio program.
Jon Arneson, the show’s host, confirmed Marshall’s identity on Friday to the Helena Independent Record.
“I was there. I’m a friend of Greg’s,” Marshall said. “It wasn’t a body-slam.”
She claimed that Ben Jacobs, the reporter Gianforte attacked, “came on private property, came into a private building and went into a very private room that I would not even have gone into.”
“It was a setup,” Marshall claimed. “He just pushed a little too hard.”
Jacobs in May said Gianforte “body-slammed” him and broke his glasses after Jacobs tried to ask Gianforte a question at a campaign event where Gianforte was preparing for an interview with local reporters.
Through a spokesperson, Gianforte told the Helena Independent Record that he disagreed with Marshall’s remarks and “repudiates them.”
Gianforte in June pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management. He pledged to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists and formally apologized to Jacobs.