Rep-Elect Mia Love: Steve Scalise Should Stay House Whip Despite Klan Controversy

Representative-elect Mia Love, R-Utah, the first black woman elected to Congress as a Republican and one of the GOP's 74 fresh faces scheduled to be sworn in on Tuesday, says that despite the controversy surrounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Lousiana, she thinks he should remain a leader to the newly reinvigorated party.

The third-highest ranked Republican in the House of Representatives, Scalise came under fire last week after he reportedly attended a civil rights workshop organized by a group of alleged white supremacists in 2002.

Of note among the organizers was David Duke, the then-president of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) and former Knights of the Ku Klux Klan grand wizard.

When asked by ABC's Martha Raddatz today on "This Week" what her initial reaction to the news was, Love said, "My first thoughts [were] this was 12 years ago. It's interesting that it's coming up now… I found that really interesting."

ABC News

Love called the groups "awful," and said that the last thing she wants is to give them any sort of publicity or credibility by discussing them. Instead, Love focused on expressing her support for her GOP compatriot Scalise, who she says has aided in her transition to Congress.

"I can say, as far as I'm concerned, with Rep. Scalise, he has been absolutely wonderful to work with. He's been very helpful for me and he has had the support of his colleagues," she said.

But with the GOP's congressional takeover set to officially begin this week, many have voiced concerns that starting off the new Congress with scandal-embroiled Scalise in leadership could derail a successful kick-off to the party's new reign, and undermine the new Republican identity. Mia Love isn't one of them.

"I believe he should remain in leadership. There's one quality that he has that I think is very important in leadership, and that's humility. And he's actually shown that in this case," she said.

"He's apologized, and I think that we need to move on and get the work of the American people done," Love later added.