‘He’s My Kind of Guy’; Trump Praises Montana Candidate for Assault on Reporter
Never before has an American president publicly supported an act of violence against an individual; that was until last night, when President Donald Trump, at a Montana political rally, praised Montana Congressman, candidate and convicted assailant Greg Gianforte for his attack on Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian in 2017.
“All Americans should recoil from the president’s praise for violent assault on a reporter doing his Constitutionally protected job,” said Oliver Knox, President of the White House Correspondents’ Association. “This amounts to the celebration of a crime by someone sworn to uphold our laws and an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has solemnly pledged to defend it.”
The May 2017 assault on Jacobs happened the night before a special election where Gianforte was running for Montana’s only seat in the House of Representatives; a seat made vacant by the appointment of Rep. Ryan Zinke as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Despite the assault, Gianforte went on to win the election; a win in which Trump claims he predicted and was aided by Gianforte’s violence.
Trump’s approval of violence against a member of the press comes just one day after he denied covering for Saudi Arabia and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in the alleged murder and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Instanbul, Turkey.
“Doing this after a journalist was apparently murdered by an autocratic regime – while complaining that you yourself are covered unfairly – is quite something,” said Maggie Haberman, a reporter for the New York Times.