Trump's praises 'body slam' assault of Guardian journalist

President Donald Trump and Montana Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale at a July 5 campaign rally in Great Falls MT

"Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of...he's my guy", Trump told the Missoula crowd.

"Greg is smart", Mr Trump said of Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte, adding "by the way never wrestle him".

"Any guy that can do a body slam is my candidate".

Trump said he doesn't, adding, "That was a different world".

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

"That's really why I'm here", Trump said. "I had heard that he body-slammed a reporter. and I said, 'Oh, this is awful, he's going to lose the election.' Then I said, 'I know Montana pretty well, ' and I said I think it might help him".

"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. Trump called Gianforte "great guy" and "tough cookie".

US President Donald Trump praised a congressman for a physical attack on a journalist, mimicking the assault to cheers at a rally.

Gianforte later apologized for the attack and announced a $50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists, part of an agreement to settle any potential civil claims.

Trump's comments come amid an investigation into the presumed murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istambul more than two weeks ago.

Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after he shoved a reporter to the ground during his campaign.

Rubin then noted Trump backers who are condoning his Saudi excuses by smearing her Washington Post colleague, Jamal Khashoggi, as an enemy of the U.S. "During a week when the world is riveted in horror at the brutal murder of a journalist by the Saudi government, Trump's remarks are a chilling reminder that United States global leadership on press freedom has collapsed utterly under the President's watch".

Downing Street has indirectly criticised Donald Trump after he praised a Republican congressman for attacking a Guardian reporter, saying any violence or intimidation against journalists was "completely unacceptable".

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