On June 14 and 15, flooding was so severe in Yellowstone National Park — which is mostly in northwestern Wyoming but extends into parts of Montana and Idaho — that miles of roads were wiped out. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, who declared a statewide disaster, is drawing a great deal of criticism for being out of the country during the flooding.
NBC News, on June 15, reported, "Although he's used social media for updates and communication, Gianforte has not been seen in person. His office has been tight-lipped on his whereabouts."
When NBC News contacted the Republican governor's office about his whereabouts, his office responded, "Before flooding began in South-Central Montana, Gov. Gianforte left the country late last week on a long-scheduled personal trip with the first lady. He is returning early and as quickly as possible. I will provide you with additional information when it is available."
Gianforte's office, however, wouldn't specify where he was.
Journalist/author Kathleen McLaughlin, in a thread posted on Twitter on June 15, slammed Gianforte for being "MIA" during a major crisis:
McLaughlin noted that Gianforte, a former congressman, is the Republican who infamously assaulted a reporter in 2017 for asking him a question about health care that he didn't like. The reporter was The Guardian's Ben Jacobs.
Gianforte, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2017 to January 2021, supported overturning the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare, despite the fact that doing so would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health insurance. Gianforte body slammed Jacobs and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault; he was fined and given a six-month deferred sentence and served no jail time.
Gianforte's history of violence didn't stop him from being reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 and being elected governor in 2020.
Here are some responses to McLaughlin's thread: