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Gianforte Friend Says She “would have shot” Ben Jacobs

Helena – Karen Marshall, Vice President of Programs for the Gallatin County Republican Women and friend of Congressman Greg Gianforte, called into the radio program Voices of Montana yesterday to share some thoughts on Gianforte’s assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs: the “media reporter at Greg’s barbeque, I was there. I’m a friend of Greg’s. If that kid had done to me what he did to Greg, I would have shot him.”
 
When host Joe Arneson asked if she meant Gianforte’s bodyslam of Jacobs, Marshall responded: “That kid came on private property, came into a private building, and went into a very private room…I mean, it was a set up, complete set up.”
 
(Audio of the call can be found here, starting at 25:25)
 
After being contacted by a reporter, Gianforte’s office released a weak condemnation of Marshall’s remarks. However, Gianforte’s staff did not address the relationship between the Congressman and Ms. Marshall, or the fact that she appears to have contributed $2,700 to his campaign earlier this year.
 
“Congressman Gianforte has lied and broken promises so often that his words are worthless,” said Roy Loewenstein, Communications Director for the Montana Democratic Party. “If Gianforte truly finds Ms. Marshall’s appalling and violent remarks unacceptable, he will return the thousands of dollars in donations she contributed to getting him elected. Anything less will prove this is just another one of his attempts to avoid taking responsibility for his actions.”
 
While Gianforte has repeatedly claimed he has “taken responsibility” for assaulting Jacobs, his actions indicate otherwise. He has not explained why his campaign initially lied about the incident. He spent his first two months in office fighting against the routine legal procedure of being booked at the Gallatin County Jail. He broke his courtroom promise to sit down for an interview with Jacobs. And just this month, he agreed to a half-hour meeting with the Committee to Protect Journalists, before leaving after only seven minutes.
 

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