Mt. reporter: I was vertical one moment, horizontal the next

The reporter who says he was body-slammed by a Montana congressional candidate described the sudden confrontation on Thursday: "I went from being vertical one moment to being horizontal the next."

Greg Gianforte, a Republican running in a special election Thursday for an open House seat, was charged overnight with misdemeanor assault after the altercation with Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian who had asked him a question about health care.

Jacobs told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he "never touched or came close to Gianforte."

"It became, you know, something that turned on a dime into sort of the type of brief encounter I never expected to have with a politician, and one that's very disappointing for what it means for the press," Jacobs said.

The Gianforte campaign blamed Jacobs for "aggressive behavior." But an audio file provided by Jacobs backs up his account of what happened, as do witness accounts from other journalists.

A Fox News team said they saw Gianforte grab Jacobs "by the neck with both hands" and slam him into the ground.

They said they "watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter."

Jacobs didn't say whether he was punched when asked on "GMA" about that account. But he said he "was on the ground at the point, so it was a little bit sudden."

Alexis Levinson, a reporter for BuzzFeed who said she had a partial view of the altercation, told CNN's "New Day" that she saw "feet fly in the air" from a nearby office.

"The door to the room was about half open, so I couldn't see the whole thing," she said. "I heard the crash. I saw his feet fly in a way that someone's feet can fly only when they're ending up on the ground."

Gianforte is the running for the House seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, who was named President Trump's interior secretary.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.