As I was driving to work today I heard a report on Montana Public Radio that shocked me: it wasn’t that Montana Republicans were already disparaging Governor Bullock and it wasn’t that the President of the United States may have willingly exposed himself to someone who may infect him with the coronavirus.
It was that Senator Steve Daines hired Shane Scanlon to be his campaign manager for his Senate bid.
Scanlon is a shocking hire for someone to lead the campaign and be its voice to the media for one simple reason: he cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
Back in 2017, when Greg Gianforte assaulted reporter Ben Jacobs and then lied to the police about what happened, Scanlon, acting as his spokesperson, amplified the lie to the press.
Despite eyewitness testimony, real-time tweets from another reporter, and an audio recording demonstrating that he was lying, Scanlon issued this statement:
“Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”
Lie upon lie upon lie.
As Politifact noted after the assault, Scanlon’s statement was an effort to dishonestly shift the blame from Gianforte, the “sole aggressor,” to Jacobs.
While we can all learn from our mistakes, Scanlon seems to have never publicly apologized nor even issued a correction for his lie, which raises a rather important question: why would the members of the media covering the Daines campaign believe anything he says now?
Given that the centerpiece of the GOP campaign against Governor Bullock seems to be that it is somehow dishonest for someone to change his mind about running for an office, it should be astonishing that Daines would hire someone who has demonstrated that he’s willing to lie win a race, but it’s not.
It just more of the same from the gang that just can’t tell the truth.