The Society of Professional Journalists denounced the alleged assault, saying "it is never acceptable to physically harm or arrest a journalist who is simply trying to do his or her job".
"Public figures in Montana and throughout the us should condemn the violent assault of a reporter by a congressional candidate", said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's program director and senior program coordinator for the Americas.
The 45-second recording does not contain a request from Gianforte that Jacobs lower his phone.
The alleged assault took place at Gianforte's headquarters in Bozeman, where Fox's Alicia Acuna and her crew were preparing a story to air on "Special Report with Bret Baier".
Greg Gianforte was cited for grabbing a reporter by the throat and throwing him to the ground in his campaign office Wednesday night.
It's totally possible - despite the fact that Gianforte's assault charge is splashed across the front pages of Montana's newspapers and leading many national newscasts this morning - that he still wins the election today. Gianforte later said that he was joking and that the reporter also laughed, according to The Associated Press. Instead Ryan said, "I'm gonna let the people of Montana decide who they want as their representative". The reporter had tried to ask Gianforte a question about the latest budget analysis of the GOP health care bill.
Jacobs has been covering the candidate for several weeks. Even after the Republican candidate put out a misleading statement that blamed the reporter for his own actions - actions that were witnessed by a local Fox News crew, he didn't end up in jail.
The Gianforte campaign, it added, "should be appalled" by its statement "that would seem to justify the fight when it said the Bozeman Republican had tussled with a 'liberal journalist.' How would the campaign have known the reporter's political beliefs?"
How big of a deal is this when at least one-third of voters have likely cast their ballots early, and we already know that Republicans don't hold assault against their elected officials. Jacobs then grabbed Gianforte's wrist and both fell to the ground, Scanlon said.
Gianforte has been endorsed by President Trump and has had Donald Trump Jr. appear at campaign events on his behalf.
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