Saturday, 10 June 2017

Republican who assaulted reporter apologizes, donates $50k towards journalists’ rights


Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican charged with assaulting a reporter the night before he won a seat in the House of Representatives last month, formally apologized to the reporter on Wednesday and said he would donate $50,000 to a journalism nonprofit as part of a settlement. Mr. Gianforte wrote in a letter to the reporter, Ben Jacobs of The Guardian, that his actions on May 24 were “unprofessional, unacceptable and unlawful.” In the apology, Mr. Gianforte promised to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an advocacy group for press freedoms and journalists’ rights.
“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,” Mr. Gianforte, 56, who won Montana’s lone seat in the House on May 25, wrote. “You did not initiate any physical contact with me, and I had no right to assault you.”
Mr. Jacobs accepted the congressman-elect’s apology, he said in a statement. “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,” Mr. Jacobs said.
The case is still in court.

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