BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) – House Speaker Paul Ryan is calling for the Republican candidate in Montana’s special House election to apologize after allegedly attacking a reporter and getting charged with assault.

Ryan says “that’s wrong and should not happen.”

But Ryan wouldn’t say if Greg Gianforte should be barred from joining the House GOP conference if he wins Thursday’s election. Instead, Ryan said, “I’m gonna let the people of Montana decide who they want as their representative.”

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Congressman Steve Stivers, also weighed in Thursday. Stivers said: “From what I know of Greg Gianforte, this was totally out of character, but we all make mistakes.”

The Guardian reporter who authorities say was assaulted by Gianforte says he never touched the politician before he was thrown to the ground.

Ben Jacobs told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he was doing his job and asking a question of Gianforte as part of covering Thursday’s special election.

He’s accused of grabbing Jacobs by the throat and throwing him to the ground in his campaign office Wednesday night. Gianforte’s campaign blamed Jacobs, saying the reporter was being aggressive and grabbed Gianforte.

Jacobs said Thursday of Gianforte’s account that “the only thing that is factually correct … is my name and place of employment.”

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