The woman who, in a phone call to a radio show last week, said she would have shot the reporter who was assaulted by now-Rep. Greg Gianforte on the eve of his election has resigned her post with a Republican organization.
Gallatin County Republican Women said in a Facebook post Monday that Karen Marshall, who was vice president of programs for the group, had submitted a letter of resignation. She is also no longer listed as a member of the executive board on the group's website.
Marshall called into the radio program Voices of Montana last week when John Heenan, a Democrat running in the primary for Montana's seat in the U.S. House, was the guest.
Marshall told the show host and Heenan she "would have shot" Ben Jacobs, the Guardian reporter who was assaulted by then-candidate Greg Gianforte the day before his election.
Last May, Jacobs entered a room where Gianforte was about to conduct another interview, and began asking him questions.
“If that kid had done to me what he did to Greg, I would have shot him,” Marshall said on the program.
When contacted last week, Marshall hung up on a reporter, saying “I don't really speak to reporters” before the line went dead.
Gianforte strongly denounced Marshall's remarks last week.
“Greg disagrees with those remarks, repudiates them and remains focused on being a strong voice for Montana in Washington," spokesman Travis Hall said.
Last May, on the eve of his election, Gianforte assaulted the reporter, Ben Jacobs of The Guardian. Jacobs recorded audio of the altercation in which Gianforte can be heard yelling “Get the hell out of here.”
Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault, to which he pleaded guilty. He performed community service as required. He also apologized to Jacobs, saying his "physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable and unlawful." He also donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Marshall told Voices of Montana: “That kid came on private property, came into a private building and went into a very private room that I would not even have gone into. It was a setup. A complete setup. He just pushed a little too hard.”
The event was a picnic, to which several members of statewide media were invited. At the time of the assault, Gianforte was preparing to do an interview with Fox television reporters.
Comments like Marshall's have become more common as political rhetoric on all ends of the spectrum increasingly tends toward violent statements. A Facebook post last week to Gianforte's official page that included a photo of the congressman and an antelope he shot got one comment that said "A prettier picture if reversed."