Where IS Gov. Greg Gianforte? Governor is out of the country as historic floods devastate state
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte is out of the country on a personal trip as historic floods continue to plague the state and Yellowstone National Park is closed indefinitely.
Exactly where Gianforte is, as cities in his state are devastated by floods, is unknown. Aside from confirming that he is abroad, his office has declined to provide details of his location.
The governor’s office has said he will return “as soon as possible”, but has not given details on when that would be.
Gianforte has been active on Twitter during the disaster, writing that he was “closely monitoring the situation,” leading to outraged and mocking reactions from users on the platform.
The governor has also come under criticism from Montana lawmakers, who accused him of trying to hide that he was abroad while his state was in crisis.
Governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte. He hasn’t been seen in Montana since June 10, and his office has confirmed he’s been out of the country
The Governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte and his wife, Susan. The couple are said to be out of the country on a personal trip as his state is dealing with serious floors
Gianforte’s absence comes as unprecedented flooding plagues communities across his state. Above, Red Lodge, Montana is washed away by flooding
The governor was last seen in public on June 10 at the construction of a Montana State University building in Bozeman. Bozeman Daily Chronicle† The next day, the first flood warnings were issued for the Yellowstone region.
Three days after Gianforte was last seen — after floods washed away countless homes in Montana, stranded entire cities of civilians and endangered drinking water supplies — he handed over his powers to Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras.
Juras signed a state disaster statement the next day.
“I have declared a statewide flooding disaster to help affected communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” Gianforte tweeted that day.
Gianforte was last seen in public on June 10 at a groundbreaking event at Montana State University in Bozeman, above
Gianforte (top, center) at an event at Montana State University, in Bozeman on June 10, the last time he was seen in public before the state disaster
When local outlets in Montana began to notice the governor’s absence, Gianforte’s office released a statement vaguely explaining his whereabouts.
The statement said the governor was on “a long-planned personal trip with the first lady” abroad and that he would “return early and as soon as possible.”
The release also included a “non-exhaustive summary” of actions taken by the state to respond to the disaster.
‘Governor. Gianforte has also been in regular contact with local elected leaders (including commissioners and legislators), local law enforcement officers, and state and local disaster and emergency response personnel,” Governor spokesman Brooke Stroyke wrote, according to the report. Independent report†
Despite assurances from the Republican governor’s office, some Montana lawmakers found his absence unforgivable.
“In a moment of unprecedented disaster and economic uncertainty, Gianforte kept Montanans purposefully in the dark about where he was and who was actually in charge,” said Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Sheila Hogan. world is Governor Gianforte?’
The peanut gallery on Twitter – where Gianforte has published more than 30 tweets about the floods – was also unimpressed by the absence.
‘Who are we??? And where the hell are you?’ one user wrote in response to a tweet from the governor: “We are closely monitoring the flooding.”
‘Is that the Royal We? And from where to monitor?’ wrote another.
Numerous memes have also appeared in the comments of the governor’s tweets, one showing him next to a picture of him in a Where’s Waldo outfit on the question ‘Where’s Gianforte?’
Another posted Gianforte’s photo on the side of a milk carton under the heading ‘MISSING’ and below a plea: ‘Did you see me? Contact the people of Montana if they are found.”
A third compared Gianforte to Ted Cruz, who came under fire for a vacation in Cancun as Texans froze to death during a massive power outage in the winter of 2021.
The meme put Gianforte’s head on a photo of Cruz walking through the airport returning from the trip to Mexico.
A house is swept away in the floods that ravage the Yellowstone region of Montana and Wyoming
Drone footage of the floodwaters engulfing the town of Red Lodge, Montana, just northeast of Yellowstone National Park
The incident is not the governor’s first controversy. In 2017, he was arrested and found guilty of ‘body slamming’ Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs.
He has also received several citations for illegal hunting practices.
Gianfotre’s 2017 mugshot, after he was arrested for assaulting Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs
With Gianforte still missing abroad, Yellowstone National Park officials said they don’t know when they will be able to open the northern portion of the park.
Park officials characterized the severe flooding that ripped through the region as a one-off event that could change the course of the Yellowstone River and the surrounding landscape forever.
During the disaster, 10,000 tourists were evacuated from the park, including a dozen trapped campers who were rescued by helicopter.
Meanwhile, Billings’ water treatment plant resumed operations “at a very low capacity” on Wednesday evening after being swamped by flooding. The plant is the only water treatment plant serving the city.