Montana congressman-elect Greg Gianforte, who was charged with a misdemeanor after allegedly slamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs to the ground for asking a question, has apologized to the reporter and announced a donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“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 wrote in a letter published Wednesday night. “I am sorry for what I did and the unwanted notoriety this has created for you. I take full responsibility.”
Jacobs accepted the apology, which accompanied a $50,000 donation to the CPJ. “I have accepted Mr. Gianforte’s apology and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions and statements,” he said in a statement released by a spokesman. “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.”