While reporting on Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte's assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on Fox & Friends, Jillian Mele parroted the campaign’s spin while omitting any mention of another Fox reporter’s firsthand account of the assault. Mele reported the campaign's claim that Jacobs “tried to push a phone in [Gianforte's] face” and that “the men both fell,” but not Fox reporter Alica Acuna’s statement that “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him” and then “began punching the reporter.” Acuna added that “at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte.” From the May 25 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
JILLIAN MELE: Hours before the polls open in the Montana special election, a GOP congressional candidate is charged with assault. Greg Gianforte defending himself after he's accused of body-slamming a Guardian reporter. The candidate says that reporter tried to push a phone in his face before this happened.
GREG GIANFORTE: We'll talk to you about that later.
BEN JACOBS: Yeah but there's not going to be time. I was just curious if you --
GIANFORTE: OK, speak with Shane please.
JACOBS: But you don't --
GIANFORTE: I'm sick and tired of you guys! The last guy who came in here you did the same thing!
MELE: Quite a scene. Gianforte's campaign says the men both fell. Thirty percent of the vote has already been cast in the special election to fill Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's open House seat.