"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte said in the recording.
He also said, "Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi can't call the shots here in Montana".
He said, "I learned a lesson".
"Last night I made a mistake". I'm not proud of what happened.
Speaking to supporters following his victory, he said: "I should not have responded the way I did - for that I'm sorry".
"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte said in audio of the event released by The Guardian. Ben Jacobs. I want to apologize to the FOX News team and I am sorry to each of you for my actions. Libertarian Mark Wicks had 6 percent; his vote total was less than Gianforte's margin over Quisp. The candidates are vying to replace Ryan Zinke, whom President Donald Trump selected to be Interior secretary. For better or for worse, Montana's U.S. House seat will now be filled by Greg Gianforte - businessman, Republican, and choke-slam champion.
Gianforte was charged with assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs Wednesday after Jacobs asked him about the GOP healthcare bill and the candidate allegedly tossed him on the floor.
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The fallout from the alleged assault was swift, though it ultimately didn't make much difference to the outcome of the election.
Gianforte had aligned himself with Trump.
"That's not the person I am, and it's not the way I'll lead in this state", Gianforte continued. Gianforte will now take the state's only seat in the House of Representatives. His Democratic rival Rob Quist has 43%. Gianforte apologized to the reporter in his victory speech Thursday night.
On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi ripped Gianforte, as a "wannabe Trump", The Hill reported. It was hard to determine on election night to what extent voters who cast a ballot Thursday were influenced by the altercation.
"That is wrong and should not have happened".
Political scientists have said the turnout on Election Day tends to lean Republican. Shaun Scott, a computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena, voted for Gianforte despite the assault charge because he felt Gianforte would do a better job helping create high technology jobs in Montana.
"No, please", he said as he raised a hand to supporters so he could continue. But whether those effects are enough to sway the outcome is a guessing game, he said.