Trump jokes about Greg Gianforte body-slamming reporter amid Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Minnie Murray
October 19, 2018

Speaking to a Missoula event, Trump showered GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte with praise and recalled the candidate assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs a year ago for trying to ask a question.

Gianforte won by a six-point margin in 2017, but still faces re-election this year.

"And by the way, never wrestle him, you understand that?" He detailed that he saw a Trump supporter doing wrestling moves in the crowd while Trump continued his attack on reporters. Trump said on Thursday that it "certainly looks" as though Khashoggi is dead.

"I shouldn't say this", he said, then adding "there's nothing to be embarrassed about". I know Montana pretty well. "Never", Trump said at a campaign rally in Montana.

President President Donald Trump arrives as the sun sets to speak at a campaign rally at Minuteman Aviation Hangar, October 18, 2018, in Missoula, Montana.

Trump said he could take Biden - and in quicker fashion than Gianforte assaulted Jacobs.


He was ordered to pay $385 (£304), complete 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management counselling.

Trump commented at the rally that upon hearing of the assault, he thought it might hurt Gianforte's chances.

"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", he said, referring to the amendment to the United States constitution that guarantees freedom of the press.

Riyadh is suspected of murdering Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and USA permanent resident whose writings have been critical of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In a statement on the Guardian's website, John Mulholland, the newspaper's US 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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