Trump Lauds Feral Congressman For Body Slamming Reporter

US President Donald Trump speaks during a "Make America Great" rally in Missoula, Montana, on October 18, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

At a campaign rally in Montana tonight, Trump first said “never wrestle him,” after calling Gianforte up on stage. He then added: “Any guy that can do a body slam — he’s my kind of guy.”

Trump later recalled his initial reaction to the attack, claiming that he thought it would help rather than hurt Gianforte’s prospects. “I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him. And it did.”

Gianforte attacked Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for asking a question in May 2017, the day before Gianforte won a special election for Montana’s only U.S. House seat.

Gianforte initially told police that Jacobs instigated the attack but later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault after eyewitness statements and audiotapes showed that he had been lying. Gianforte admitted Jacobs had done nothing wrong.

Fox News reporters who witnessed the attack later recalled: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!'”

Gianforte is being challenged in November’s election by former state legislator Kathleen Williams.

Trump called Gianforte a “great guy,” a “tough cookie.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: