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Quist Attacks Gianforte's Russian Investments

Republican Greg Gianforte, left, and Democrat Rob Quist
Corin Cates-Carney, Josh Burnham
Republican Greg Gianforte, left, and Democrat Rob Quist

Democratic U.S. House candidate Rob Quist is hoping voters will shy away from Republican Greg Gianforte because of his investments in Russian business stocks.

In Saturday night’s debate sponsored by MTN News Quist said, "Mr. Gianforte has a quarter-of-a-million dollars in stocks in Russian companies that the US has on the sanction list."

Gianforte’s campaign disclosure form says he has nearly $250,000 invested in two index funds that include shares in an array of Russian companies. The Guardian Newspaper reports that among those companies are two that were put on the U.S. sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of the Crimea in 2014.

Here’s part of Gianforte’s response in Saturday’s debate: "We have a broad range of investments. Anyone who invests in emerging markets around the world have investments in Russia. These are a tiny portion of our portfolio. Now, let me say clearly, there cannot be any conflict, and, if elected, I will put all of our investments into a blind trust to guarantee that there is no conflict."

During the debate Gianforte and Quist took opposite stands on federal funding for Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act. Gianforte said he would vote to remove federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Quist said he would oppose any attempt to do so. Gianforte said the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and replaced, Quist said the law should be maintained but fixed.

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.