California Rep. Says Candidate’s Alleged Assault Was Wrong ‘Unless The Reporter Deserved It’

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — GOP lawmakers emerging from a closed-door caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on Thursday said they didn’t know the facts about Republican Greg Gianforte being charged with misdemeanor assault.

A reporter from the Guardian accused the tech millionaire of slamming him to the ground and breaking his glasses in an altercation at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman on Wednesday afternoon. The reporter had tried to ask Gianforte a question about the latest budget analysis of the GOP health care bill.

A few lawmakers did comment.

Asked if assaulting a reporter is appropriate behavior, California Rep. Duncan Hunter said, “Of course not. It’s not appropriate behavior. Unless the reporter deserved it.”

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer said he wasn’t sure whether the incident would hurt or help Gianforte in Thursday’s special election for the open House seat.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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