Gianforte Spokesman who Lied About Assault on Reporter is Now Rosendale’s Spokesman

While we were all flabbergasted a few days ago by the story from Holly Michels about how Matt Rosendale signed a form affirming he was a Maryland resident in 2015, the even more absurd part of the story is this:

“This is a paperwork error by the title company,” said Rosendale’s communications director, Shane Scanlon. “They admit the sent the wrong form and that Matt and Jean were not the ones who improperly checked the residence box.”

My jaw dropped.

Some of you may remember Shane Scanlon as the person who lied on behalf of Greg Gianforte about the assault he committed on reporter Ben Jacobs last May with this statement:

Every time that Shane Scanlon has a quote in the newspaper it needs a disclaimer that he lied about a violent crime against a reporter.  The voters of Montana need to be reminded over and over again that Matt Rosendale hired a man who lied to help Greg Gianforte get elected.

Matt Rosendale keeps reaching down into the bottom of the barrel, taking the level of discourse lower, thinking that Montanans will fall for his tricks. First he was endorsed by Steve Bannon, then he defended Roy Moore, now he’s signing forms that he’s a Maryland resident and hiring a really bad and dangerous liar in Shane Scanlon. The man is a menace.

The national news picked right up on this, Matt Pearce with the LA Times tweeted:

And NBC News is covering this story in a rational way:

Ex-Gianforte spokesman who blamed reporter for assault has new job

Shane Scanlon, who served as spokesman to Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont. during a 2017 special election in which the then-candidate assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, has a new role in Montana politics.

He’s now communications director for Matt Rosendale, the state auditor running for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. in November. Scanlon confirmed his position in a call with NBC News.

Scanlon attracted attention for his personal role in the Gianforte story, in which he put out an initial statement blaming Jacobs for the attack, saying he “shoved a recorder in Greg’s face” and “grabbed Greg’s wrist” after the candidate tried to grab his phone recorder, pulling them both to the ground. “It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene,” Scanlon said at the time.

But a Fox News crew who witnessed the scene soon contradicted Scanlon, with one reporter writing that Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him” after Jacobs approached him with a question about health care. Audio of the incident revealed Gianforte screaming in rage at Jacobs and telling him to “get the hell out of here.”

Gianforte later apologized to Jacobs and took “full responsibility” for the attack as part of an agreement to settle any civil damages. “Notwithstanding anyone’s statements to the contrary, you did not initiate any physical contact with me, and I had no right to assault you,” he said in a letter, an apparent reference to Scanlon’s quote on behalf of his campaign.

Gianforte went on to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault in connection with incident and was sentenced to community service and anger management counseling. Scanlon, however, has never publicly revised his account.

Jacobs, who had previously called Scanlon’s statement “defamatory,” declined to comment on his hire with Rosendale’s campaign. He told NBC News he has had no contact with Scanlon since the assault.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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