"I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.' And it did".
Here's the video of Trump on Greg Gianforte body slamming Ben Jacobs: "Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of guy".
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 a $85 court fee.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte and called him "my guy" for body slamming a journalist in 2017. "To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the first amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it", the Guardian's USA editor John Mulholland said in a statement.
Cheered on by the crowd, Trump added that he didn't think the episode would hurt Gianforte with Montana voters - "I think it might help him", Trump recalled thinking.
"Any guy that can do a body slam, he is my type!" As part of a civil settlement, he apologized for responding with physical violence to a question Jacobs asked about health care policy. Then I said, wait a minute. "He's going to lose the election, '" Trump said. Trump said. "He's a great guy".
This comes after the president held a MAGA rally in Missoula in support of Tester's opponent Matt Rosendale, where he made similar criticisms of Tester's character.
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Mr Gianforte, who attended the rally with the President, is up for re-election in November and faces former state legislator Kathleen Williams.
He said the incident "runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists", coming at the same time as the alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a statement on the Guardian's website, John Mulholland, the newspaper's USA editor, said "to celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it".
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