Trump Praises Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte for Body-Slamming Reporter Last May

Trump, amid outcry over missing Saudi journalist, praises GOP congressman for body slamming reporter - Los Ang

President Donald Trump praised Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., Thursday for physically assaulting a reporter during a House race a year ago - remarks that come amid calls for Trump to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for the disappearance and apparent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

President Trump blasted Democrat Senator Jon Tester for the second day in a row -this time calling him out for hypocrisy.

Greg Gianforte was sentenced to six months of deferred jail time, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management sessions and $385 in fines and court fees for the misdemeanor assault that propelled him and his congressional race into the national spotlight previous year.

"And by the way, never wrestle him, you understand that?" "Any guy that can do a body slam - he's my kind of, he's my guy". "There's nothing to be embarrassed about", Trump said to Gianforte. "Never", Trump said. "Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of guy".

He paid a $385 fine and completed 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management counselling.

Trump was speaking at a rally in Missoula, Mont., where the president was campaigning for a Republican challenger to Sen.

"So this week the president has helped cover up the murder of one journalist and is now praising the assault of another journalist", noted MSNBC's Chris Hayes following Trump's remarks. "I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.' And it did".

Mr Gianforte, who attended the rally with the President, is up for re-election in November and faces former state legislator Kathleen Williams.

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.

In a statement, the Guardian's US editor John Mulholland said he hoped the president would apologise for his comments, adding: "To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the first amendment [of the US Constitution] by someone who has taken an oath to defend it".

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