A video that gained national attention Tuesday shows Rep. Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley) in a heated exchange with a group of protesters.
In the video, one protester gives Knight a prolonged handshake then forcefully pats him on the shoulder, prompting Knight to warn the man, “If you touch me again, I’ll drop your ass.”
The incident happened April 17 after an open house at Knight’s Simi Valley office. Protesters confronted the congressman outside and accused him of voting in favor of “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.
After warning the protester against touching him, Knight explained that he never voted for “amnesty” and he attempted to clear up the confusion.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Knight admitted to losing his cool and said he regretted the manner in which he responded to the protesters.
“I have dealt with this group on several occasions and every time they try to escalate our conversations to a level that is not constructive. Over this past weekend, I lost my cool and I regret responding the way I did,” Knight said in the statement.
The video was uploaded to YouTube by a conservative group calling itself “We the People Rising.” The group “promotes the hiring of Americans and seeks to influence elected officials to respect and uphold U.S. immigration laws,” according to the group’s online description.
The activists also confronted Knight at an open house in March. View video of that exchange here.