Helena—Today, while Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain spoke out passionately in defense of a free and open press, Congressman Greg Gianforte continued to remain silent as questions linger about his honesty and his ability to take responsibility for his actions.
Shortly after assaulting reporter Ben Jacobs in May, Gianforte wrote Mr. Jacobs an apology letter, which appeared to signal an understanding that his actions were wrong and that a free press plays a critical role in American democracy: “I understand the critical role that journalists and the media play in our society. Protections afforded to the press through the Constitution are fundamental to who we are as a nation and the way government is accountable to the people.”
However, instead of following up his words with action, Gianforte has remained silent and continually broken his promises to the people of Montana in an effort to avoid taking responsibility for his actions.
Since he was sworn in as Montana’s sole representative in Congress, Gianforte has:
- Refused to explain why his campaign lied about his assault of a reporter, despite being asked to do so five times in a row during a single interview with the Associated Press.
- Refused to explain why, in the moments after the assault, he lied to the police about what happened, telling an officer that “the liberal media is trying to make a story.”
- Refused to honor his courtroom promise to sit for an interview with the man he assaulted.
- Spent more than half of his first 100 days in office fighting for preferential legal treatment for himself rather than taking responsibility for his assault, as he has repeatedly claimed to have done.
- Refused to join the Press Freedom Caucus and left a 30 minute meeting with the Committee to Protect Journalists after only 7 minutes.
Now more than six months later, Gianforte refuses to look Montanans in the eye and explain his actions, even as leaders in his own party condemn similar behavior at home and abroad.
“Montanans deserve a leader who shoots straight and keeps their promises,”said Roy Loewenstein, spokesman for the Montana Democratic Party. “Unfortunately, Congressman Greg Gianforte has done neither, and he seems to think that the code of decency and civility that Montanans live by doesn’t apply to him. Through his silence and broken promises, Gianforte continues to prove he doesn’t share or understand Montana values at all.”
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