RantCrush Top 5: May 25, 2017

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Welcome to RantCrush Top 5, where we take you through today’s top five controversial stories in the world of law and policy. Who’s ranting and raving right now? Check it out below:

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Republican House Candidate Body-Slams Reporter

A Republican candidate running for Congress in a Montana special election has been charged with misdemeanor assault for body-slamming a reporter from the Guardian. He also broke the reporter’s glasses and shouted, “Get the hell out of here.” Greg Gianforte, a millionaire who was endorsed by President Donald Trump, seems to have lost his temper when political reporter Ben Jacobs asked him about the Republican health care plan. There is an audio recording of the incident, but no video. However, three Fox News journalists also witnessed the assault. “Faith, Keith, and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’” said reporter Alicia Acuna, adding that Jacobs had not shown any form of aggression.

Gianforte’s campaign spokesman blamed Jacobs and said that he was the aggressive one, contrary to the Fox News account. In a statement, the campaign claimed that Jacobs grabbed Gianforte’s wrist and spun away, “pushing them both to the ground.” “It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ,” the statement read. But this account was contradicted by eyewitnesses and the audio recording, in which Gianforte is heard asking whether Jacobs is with the Guardian, and saying, “The last guy did the same damn thing.” Voting for the special election is today, and we’ll have to see if this incident has any impact on Gianforte’s chances.

Emma Von Zeipel
Emma Von Zeipel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. She is originally from one of the islands of Stockholm, Sweden. After working for Democratic Voice of Burma in Thailand, she ended up in New York City. She has a BA in journalism from Stockholm University and is passionate about human rights, good books, horses, and European chocolate. Contact Emma at EVonZeipel@LawStreetMedia.com.

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