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Greg Gianforte, the newly elected member to serve Montana in the US House of Representatives, apologized on Wednesday to a reporter he is accused of assaulting last month.
In a letter from Gianforte addressed to the Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs said, “I want to express my sincere apology for my conduct on the evening of May 24. My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful,” the letter read.
“As both a candidate for office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public. My treatment of you did not meet that standard.”
The formal apology letter comes two weeks after Gianforte won Montana’s only seat in the House in a special election. The alleged assault happened hours before Election Day, as Jacobs attempted to ask Gianforte about the American Health Care Act.
Gianforte was apparently angered by the inquiry and a violent altercation ensued – the audio of which was captured by the reporter, who accused Gianforte of “body-slamming” him. Gianforte issued an initial apology the following night during his victory speech.
Gianforte has also promised to donate $50,000 to the independent nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists. He still faces a court trial in the case.