Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in the Montana U.S. House special election, was cited for misdemeanor assault Wednesday night after a reporter said he "body slammed" him.
The incident was reported the night before Thursday's vote.
"Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses," Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, tweeted of the incident, claiming a local TV crew was present.
Audio of the altercation was released soon after.
Meanwhile, the Gianforte campaign released a statement blaming the incident on Jacobs, claiming the reporter "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face and began asking badgering questions."
Jacobs told Good Morning America on Thursday that he never laid a hand Gianforte, saying, "The only thing that is factually correct. . .is my name and place of employment."
Hours later, House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Gianforte to apologize.
"I do not think this is acceptable behavior, but the choice will be made by the people of Montana," Ryan said during a press conference in Washington. "There is no time when a physical altercations should occur with the press and just between human beings. So that is wrong and it just should not have happened. . .I think he should apologize."
The sheriff's office said Gianforte has until June 7 to appear in court on the charge.
We pay for juicy info! Do you have a story for RadarOnline.com? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (866) ON-RADAR (667-2327) any time, day or night.