Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump praises Republican congressman for body slamming journalist

Trump praises Republican congressman for body slamming journalist

President Donald Trump on Thursday heaped praise on a U.S. congressman from Montana who body-slammed a reporter during a campaign for a special election in 2017.

"I shouldn't say this".

Here's the video of Trump on Greg Gianforte body slamming Ben Jacobs: "Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of guy".

"You understand that, never". "Never", Trump joked. "Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my guy".

Asked about Trump's comments, Theresa May's spokeswoman said: "He obviously made comments at a political rally, and those are for him".

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Gianforte won by a six-point margin in 2017, but still faces re-election this year. "But I had heard he body slammed a reporter".

At a campaign rally in Missoula, Mr Trump lauded Representative Greg Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanour assault for an attack on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. "And he was way up...this was like the day of the election, or just before, and I said, 'Oh, this is awful he's going to lose the election, ' then I said, 'Wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him, ' and it did". "I think it might help him, and it did", Trump said to applause from the 4,000 rally attendees.

"The President of the United States tonight applauded the assault on an American journalist who works for the Guardian", John Mulholland, US editor of The Guardian, said in a statement.

Mr Trump raised the incident amid calls for a stronger response from his administration to reports that US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was ambushed inside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, then tortured, killed and dismembered. But it is not unreasonable to see how President Trump's constant harangue of "fake news" and dismissing the press as "enemy of the people" debases the fourth estate.

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