00:49 - Source: CNN
Paul Ryan responds to Gianforte's altercation

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Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault

Speaker Paul Ryan: 'There's never a call for physical altercations.'

Washington CNN  — 

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that Republican House candidate Greg Gianforte should apologize after a reporter for the Guardian said Gianforte “body slammed” him.

Gianforte is running in a special election to fill an open House seat in Montana. The altercation took place at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman after reporter Ben Jacobs tried to ask him about Republicans’ plans for health care. Gianforte was later charged with misdemeanor assault.

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Ryan told reporters at a news conference, “Physical alteration? There’s never a call for physical altercations. There’s no time where a physical altercation should occur with the press or just between human beings …. that is wrong and should not have happened.”

“Should the gentleman apologize? Yes. He should apologize,” Ryan added.

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Asked if he will seat Gianforte if he wins the special election, Ryan said, “If he wins he’s been chosen by the people of Montana. I’ll let the people of Montana decide.”

When pressed whether Ryan will have Gianforte as part of the GOP conference, he waved off, saying “I do not think this is acceptable behavior but decision will be made by the people of Montana.