Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican elected last month to the state’s open House seat following a physical brawl with journalist Ben Jacobs, has apologized over the incident and pledged to give $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
“I write to express my sincere apology for my conduct on the evening of May 24,” Gianforte wrote in an email to Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, which first reported on Gianforte’s attempt to reconcile. He was alleged to have “body-slammed” Jacobs and broken his glasses after being asked about his stance on healthcare.
“My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful,” he wrote, adding that his interaction with Jacobs didn’t meet the “high standard” someone in his position should be held to.
“Notwithstanding anyone’s statements to the contrary, you did not initiate any physical contact with me, and I had no right to assault you,” Gianforte continued. “I take full responsibility.”
The Congressman-elect added in his apology that his donation to CPJ comes “in the hope that perhaps some good can come of these events.”
Jacobs said in a statement that he fully accepted Gianforte’s apology, the Guardian reports. “I hope the constructive resolution of this incident reinforces for all the importance of respecting the freedom of the press and the first amendment and encourages more civil and thoughtful discourse in our country,” Jacobs said.
Gianforte currently faces a misdemeanor assault charge over the incident.