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Donald Trump applauds Republican congressman Greg Gianforte for 'body-slamming' reporter

20 October 2018

President Donald Trump on Thursday night praised Rep. Greg Gianforte's (R., Mont.) intellect and then said that anybody who can do a body slam is "my guy".

To add to his long list of terrifying sentiments towards journalists, Trump praised Montana Republican Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter during his campaign last May.

Still, there where some who supported Trump, noting that the journalist deserved to be body slammed over his actions.

"I was in Rome with leaders when I heard about it, and I heard that he body-slammed a reporter", Trump said.

"We endorsed Greg very early". And he was way up...and I said, 'Oh, this is bad, he's going to lose the election'. "I think the - I excuse a lot of that because the President uses a lot of hyperbole when he talks and I always say, 'Don't look at what the President says, look at what the President does, but the bottom line is this is not helpful, it's not good".

"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. "He's my guy", Trump declared, doing his best impression of a wrestling move to raucous applause and cheers from his Montana audience.

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Though Gianforte won the election, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and was fined.

President Trump got a welcomed distraction at a Montana rally. "At Montana rally, Trump praises congressman for assaulting reporter", tweeted Jeff Sachs.

Knox added: "We should never shrug at the president cheerleading for a violent act targeting a free and independent news media".

Journalism watchdog groups, including Reporters Without Borders, have downgraded the annual press freedom rankings, saying Trump's frequent press-bashing hyperbole, including calling reporters "the enemy of the people", and "fake news", are stoking violence against journalists.

It's no secret that Donald Trump doesn't hold journalism in high esteem.

The Guardian US editor John Mulholland took aim at Trump's remarks.

Donald Trump applauds Republican congressman Greg Gianforte for 'body-slamming' reporter