Montana congressman sends heartfelt apology to body-slammed reporter

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Weeks after Montana congressman-elect Greg Gianforte “body slammed” a Guardian reporter on May 24, he sent a letter of apology to the man on Wednesday and said he will plead no contest to the misdemeanor assault charge.

On Friday, four press freedom advocacy groups lodged an ethics complaint against Gianforte for his actions against Jacobs.

As part of a settlement with journalist Ben Jacobs, Gianforte also pledged to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization that promotes press freedom, “in the hope that perhaps some good can come of these events.”

A Republican, Gianforte went on to win the Montana congressional election the next day and issued a verbal apology to the reporter during his acceptance speech.

“My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful. 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,” wrote Gianforte. “I made a mistake and humbly ask for your forgiveness.”

 Jacobs reportedly accepted his apology.

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