At a campaign rally in Missoula Thursday, Trump lauded Rep. Greg Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for an attack on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. The attack came a day before Gianforte won a 2017 special election to serve the remaining 18 months in the House term vacated by now-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
"Any guy that can do a body slam — he's my kind of guy," Trump said to cheers and laughter from the crowd. "He's a great guy, tough cookie."
His remarks praising Gianforte come amid an international furor over the apparent assassination of a Washington Post columnist, who, according to an account in Turkey's Yeni Safak newspaper, allegedly had his fingers cut off and was decapitated inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.
In the case of Gianforte, witnesses including members of a Fox News crew say Gianforte became enraged over what he perceived as biased coverage before body-slamming Jacobs, throwing him to the ground and punching him.