Newly elected House Republican accused of assaulting a reporter apologizes, pledges $50,000 donation

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."

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MISSOULA, MT - MAY 24: Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a campaign meet and greet at Lambros Real Estate on May 24, 2017 in Missoula, Montana. Greg Gianforte is campaigning throughout Montana ahead of a May 25 special election to fill Montana's single congressional seat. Gianforte is in a tight race against democrat Rob Quist. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BOZEMAN, MT - MAY 25: Republican Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters after being declared the winner at a election night party for Montana's special House election against Democrat Rob Quist at the Hilton Garden Inn on May 25, 2017 in Bozeman, Montana. Gianforte won one day after being charged for assuulting a reporter. The House seat was left open when Montana House Representative Ryan Zinke was appointed Secretary of Interior by President Trump. (Photo by Janie Osborne/Getty Images)
Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte greets voters while campaigning for a special election in Missoula, Montana, U.S. May 24, 2017 in this still image from video. REUTERS/Justin Mitchell TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Representative elect Greg Gianforte accepts the crowds congratulations during his victory speech after winning the special congressional election in Bozeman, Montana May 25, 2017, during a special congressional election called after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was appointed to lead the Interior Department. REUTERS/Colter Peterson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A still image taken from video shows Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte speaking to voters while campaigning for a special election in Missoula, Montana, U.S. May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Justin Mitchell
Representative elect Greg Gianforte (L) shares the limelight with his wife, Susan, during his victory speech during a special congressional election called after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was appointed to lead the Interior Department, in Bozeman, Montana, U.S., May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Colter Peterson
MISSOULA, MT - MAY 24: Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a campaign meet and greet at Lambros Real Estate on May 24, 2017 in Missoula, Montana. Greg Gianforte is campaigning throughout Montana ahead of a May 25 special election to fill Montana's single congressional seat. Gianforte is in a tight race against democrat Rob Quist. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BOZEMAN, MT - MAY 25: Republican Greg Gianforte celebrates with supporters after being declared the winner at a election night party for Montana's special House election against Democrat Rob Quist at the Hilton Garden Inn on May 25, 2017 in Bozeman, Montana. Gianforte won one day after being charged for assaulting a reporter. The House seat was left open when Montana House Representative Ryan Zinke was appointed Secretary of Interior by President Trump on May 25, 2017 in Bozeman, Montana. (Photo by Janie Osborne/Getty Images)
MISSOULA, MT - MAY 24: Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte talks with supporters during a campaign meet and greet at Lambros Real Estate on May 24, 2017 in Missoula, Montana. Greg Gianforte is campaigning throughout Montana ahead of a May 25 special election to fill Montana's single congressional seat. Gianforte is in a tight race against democrat Rob Quist. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MISSOULA, MT - MAY 24: Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters during a campaign meet and greet at Lambros Real Estate on May 24, 2017 in Missoula, Montana. Greg Gianforte is campaigning throughout Montana ahead of a May 25 special election to fill Montana's single congressional seat. Gianforte is in a tight race against democrat Rob Quist. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Representative elect Greg Gianforte delivers his speech during a special congressional election called after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was appointed to lead the Interior Department, in Bozeman, Montana, U.S., May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Colter Peterson
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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.

Read Gianforte's full apology letter below:

NOW WATCH: Greg Gianforte apologizes for attacking a reporter after winning his Congressional election

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SEE ALSO: Montana GOP congressional candidate cited for misdemeanor assault after he was accused of body-slamming a reporter

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