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On Wednesday evening, Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Montana’s lone House seat, allegedly “body-slammed” Guardian U.S. political reporter Ben Jacobs and broke his glasses in the process. The altercation took place when Jacobs tried to ask Gianforte for his take on the recently released Congressional Budget Office score of the new health care replacement bill. The exchange was recorded by Jacobs and later released to public by the Guardian.
“I’m sick and tired of you guys,” Gianforte can be heard saying on an audio recording of the exchange. “The last guy who came here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?”
“Yes! You just broke my glasses,” Jacobs replied.
Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) May 24, 2017
Gianforte’s campaign released a statement contradicting Jacobs’ version of events stating that when the candidate tried to push Jacob’s recorder away, Jacobs grabbed his hand and bringing both of them to the ground. Jacobs’ version of the events was later backed up by a local Fox News crew.
With the incident dominating evening news, it was just a matter of time before brands got involved — albeit indirectly in this case.
“I hope you are safe. ALSO @WarbyParker should give you a new pair of glasses for free in the name of democracy,” journalist Samantha Reyes tweeted at Jacobs Wednesday night.
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) May 25, 2017
By the next morning, the brand — which gives away a pair of glasses for every pair it sells — was in.
— Warby Parker (@WarbyParker) May 25, 2017
“We’re on it!” Warby tweeted, telling Jacobs to stay tuned for a direct message.
“We got you, Ben Jacobs — keep doing what you do!” tweeted Neil Blumenthal, one of the co-founders of the eyeglass startup.
— Neil Blumenthal (@NeilBlumenthal) May 25, 2017
We have reached out to both Jacobs and Warby Parker for comment and will update this report accordingly.
Since the incident took place, Gianforte has since been charged with misdemeanor assault and the state’s three largest newspapers withdrew their endorsement. According to the Associated Press, House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Gianforte to apologize for the assault, saying, “That’s wrong and should not happen.”
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