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President Trump praises congressman for assaulting reporter

President Trump on Thursday joked at a campaign rally in Montana that Rep. Greg Gianforte’s (R-Mont.) assaulting a reporter for The Guardian in 2017 helped him win his election.

“Never wrestle him. Never. Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of ... he’s my guy,” he said in Missoula.

“We endorsed Greg really early, but I heard that he had body slammed a reporter. And he was way up…and I said, ‘Oh, this is terrible, he’s going to lose the election.’ But then I said, ‘Well wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him,’ and it did…He’s a great guy and a tough cookie,” Trump added.

The assault occurred the night before the election after a significant number of votes had already been cast during early voting or via absentee ballots.

Gianforte pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault and was sentenced to a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management and a $300 fine along with an $85 court fee. He won Montana’s at-large congressional seat by six points.

Trump’s acrimonious relationship with the press is well known, having dubbed mainstream media outlets as peddlers of “fake news.”


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