Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Congress who allegedly assaulted a reporter, should not "have the privilege of serving" in the Capitol building, according to one representative.
Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday after The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs tweeted that the Republican had "body slammed" him at a campaign event.
Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., was asked during an appearance on MSNBC Thursday about Gianforte by host Willie Geist, who said, "Should he be seated, given what he did?"
The congressman replied, "Well, I don't think so," according to CNS News.
"Our political environment has become so bare-knuckle, so ugly, and as you said, from the top — with the President of the United States actually encouraging violence in his rallies.
"I think this is a moment of clarity for the Republican Party. Are they the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt or are they the party that welcomes and maybe even celebrates people who call the media an enemy of the state — people who physically assault somebody who asks them a tough question."
Geist then posed another question: "Would you call on the majority to not allow him to take office?"
Himes responded, "I think that would be appropriate. In this building, and look, I'll be the first to say, the media's sometime annoying — they hold your feet to the fire, they confront you with facts. But most Americans understand that the president is wrong, and that the media is actually one of those key mechanisms for accountability for elected officials.
And when a candidate physically assaults a member, look, set aside what that says about the media, what does that say about the character of that individual?
That is not somebody who has, I think, or should have, the privilege of serving in this building."
House Speaker Paul Ryan also addressed Gianforte's assault charge on Thursday, saying the candidate "should apologize," according to NBC News.
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