US Congressional Candidate Who Attacked Reporter Apologizes After Winning Election
The Republican candidate for a U.S. congressional seat in (the western U.S. state of) Montana who was charged with assault after he allegedly grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground, has apologized for his actions after defeating his Democratic opponent.
"Last night I made a mistake. I took an action that I can't take back and I'm not proud of what happened," said Greg Gianforte, a multimillionaire. "I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that I'm sorry."
Less than 24 hours after the incident, Gianforte narrowly beat out singer and poet Rob Quist Thursday, upholding the Republican Party's 20-year lock on the state's only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On Wednesday, journalist Ben Jacobs of the British-based newspaper The Guardian tweeted that Gianforte "just body-slammed me and broke my glasses" at the candidate's campaign headquarters in the city of Bozeman, just hours before the special election that Gianforte had been favored to win in the rural, heavily Republican state.
About a third of Montana's voters had already cast their votes in the early voting process when the incident occurred.
The special election was being held to replace Republican Ryan Zinke, who resigned earlier this year to become President Donald Trump's interior secretary.
The House Republican leader, Speaker Paul Ryan, said Gianforte "should apologize.
If convicted, Gianforte would face a maximum $500 fine and six months in jail.
Trump Son-in-Law Focus of Russia Probe
Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, is being investigated by the FBI in its probe of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the Washington Post and NBC News reported Thursday.
The FBI's focus on Kushner does not necessarily mean he is suspected of a crime, nor is he considered a subject of the bureau's wider probe of Russia.
Investigators are looking into meetings that Kushner had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and a Russian banking executive late last year during the presidential transition, the Washington Post reported.
The Post reported last week that a senior White House official close to the president was a significant focus of the high stakes investigation, although it did not name Kushner then.
This latest revelation comes two weeks after Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, who was responsible for overseeing the probe.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last week appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation. Separately, at least four congressional committees are conducting their own probes into the matter.
Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin, amid accusations from U.S. intelligence that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated a sweeping campaign to tilt the vote in the Republican's favor.