President Donald Trump praised Republican congressman Greg Gianforte for assaulting reporter Ben Jacobs, an attack that resulted in a guilty plea and a sentence that included community service and anger management classes. Greg Gianforte (R-Montana) as "my kind of guy" for body slamming a reporter who was trying to ask him a question on the eve of a special election a year ago.
Gianforte was captured on an audio recording physically assaulting Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian newspaper.
On social media, though, some quickly noted Trump's omission.
His remarks praising Mr Gianforte come amid an worldwide furore over the apparent assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who allegedly had his fingers cut off and was decapitated inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago. Trump continued. "Any guy that can do a bodyslam, he's my kind of guy".
At a campaign rally in Montana tonight, Trump first said "never wrestle him", after calling Gianforte up on stage.More news: Man Utd legend Paul Scholes hits out at Mourinho, Pogba and Sanchez
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Jacobs alleged that Gianforte "body slammed" him in response to a question about healthcare, breaking his glasses.
"So I was in Rome with a lot of the leaders from other countries, talking about all sorts of things, when I heard about it", Trump said.
"Then I said, 'Well wait a minute".
Mr Gianforte, who attended the rally with the President, is up for re-election in November and faces former state legislator Kathleen Williams. Turkish authorities say that he was murdered in the consulate, and his apparent grisly killing has turned attention to the USA relationship to the regime of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.