After claiming victory in a special election for Montana’s U.S. House seat on Thursday night, Republican Greg Gianforte apologized for body-slamming a Guardian reporter a day earlier. Speaking after he won about 50 percent of the vote, Gianforte said he “learned a lesson” after the incident with reporter Ben Jacobs, who he reportedly grabbed by the neck and slammed to the ground. “Last night I made a mistake,” Gianforte said. “I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that I’m sorry. I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that, I am sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs,” he said. Gianforte’s campaign had claimed the reporter had provoked the violent reaction with aggressive behavior, and the tech executive faces assault charges over the incident. He is due to appear in court before June 7 and faces jail time of as much as six months on the charges.