GOP rep: Alleged Montana assault ‘unacceptable,’ but voters have spoken

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) says that Americans should “honor” the will of Montana voters who elected Republican Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteGianforte expected to meet with reporter he body-slammed after recess Poll: Half want Dems to control Congress after 2018 Montana Dems send orange jumpsuit for Gianforte's first day in Congress MORE to Congress despite his “unacceptable” alleged assault against a reporter this week.

“Look, Montanans spoke very clearly who they want to represent them in Washington,” Taylor said Friday on CNN’s “New Day.” “So we have to honor that.” 

“There’s no question that the behavior is unacceptable. I will tell you that it’s unacceptable behavior and to say otherwise would be false, obviously. But Montanans spoke very clearly.”

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Gianforte on late Thursday apologized to a Guardian reporter he allegedly assaulted the night before his victory in Montana’s House special election.

“Last night, I made a mistake and I took an action that I can’t take back — and I’m not proud of what happened,” he said during his victory rally in Bozeman.

“I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that I am sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs,” Gianforte added.

Gianforte reportedly “body slammed” Jacobs at the candidate’s campaign headquarters after receiving being questioned about the GOP’s ObamaCare replacement plan. Montana law enforcement officials on Wednesday charged Gianforte with misdemeanor assault.

The race between Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist attracted national attention, with both parties searching for evidence on whether President Trump is hurting GOP candidates across the country.

The special election was for Montana’s lone House seat, which was vacated when former GOP Rep. Ryan Zinke was tapped to be Trump's Interior secretary.