Trump hails body slamming Congressman Greg Gianforte in Montana

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"I had heard that he body slammed a reporter", Trump said, recalling that he learned of the incident while on a visit to Rome.

"That's really why I'm here", Trump said.

Trump's overt praise of a representative physically assaulting a journalist would never be okay, but the timing feels even more precarious given the presumed murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Gianforte was convicted of assault after he grabbed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by the neck and body-slammed him to the ground at a campaign event on the eve of Montana's special election in 2017.


"You understand that, never". "He's my guy", Trump declared, doing his best impression of a wrestling move to raucous applause and cheers from his Montana audience. "I think it might help him.' And it did", Trump said.

While members of Congress are threatening to sanction the Saudi government, Trump, who has cultivated closer ties to the kingdom, has taken a cautious stance, stressing the long alliance between the USA and Saudi Arabia.

Trump said he could take Biden - and in quicker fashion than Gianforte assaulted Jacobs.

Gianforte pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger-management, in addition to the $385 in court fees and fines.


Trump said Thursday at a campaign rally for Tester's Republican opponent that Tester "led the Democratic mob" in an effort to destroy Jackson's reputation.

The next day, Gianforte won a special election for Montana's U.S. House seat. The judge called Gianforte's actions "totally unacceptable" but gave him a six-month deferred sentence.

Gianforte is now polling nine points ahead of Democratic challenger Kathleen Williams, in a state that has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1996, and elected Trump by a 20 point margin in 2016. "We hope decent people will denounce these comments and that the President will see fit to apologize for them".


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