15:43 GMT20 September 2020
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    Then House of Representatives candidate Greg Gianforte became embroiled in a scandal just days prior to special elections after he attacked a Guardian journalist. Gianforte later apologized for his actions and won the election, despite the incident.

    While speaking at a rally in Montana, US President Donald Trump praised the state's Congressman Greg Gianforte, specifically for his ability to perform a body slam, referring to the notorious incident involving a Guardian journalist, which happened in 2017. Trump called Gianforte "great guy" and "tough cookie."

    "Any guy that can do a body slam — he's my guy," Trump said.

    The UK PM's spokesperson has slammed Trump's praise for the congressman, adding that violence or intimidation against journalists is "completely unacceptable." The Guardian has also reacted to the news, noting that the US president had applauded "the assault of an American journalist."

    READ MORE: Twitter-Quake as Rosie O'Donnell Wants Military in White House to 'Get' Trump

    Trump's statements caused a stir among social media users, many of whom slammed Trump over his comments.

    Some even suggested that Trump's controversial statements, allegedly calling for violence against journalists, might be the reason why the case of the missing journalist of Saudi descent Jamal Khashoggi is not being thoroughly investigated by the US.

    Several Twitterians even suggested that Trump should get a taste of the medicine that he is praising so much.

    Still, there where some who supported Trump, noting that the journalist deserved to be body slammed over his actions.

    In 2017 Greg Gianforte attacked Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs after he persistently demanded a comment from the lawmaker. Eyewitnesses from Fox News, who were there that day to interview the congressional candidate, later recalled that Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck, slammed him into the ground and started punching the journalist.

    On an audio recording, which was published later, Gianforte can be heard saying that he is "sick and tired" and that the "last guy who came did the same thing," allegedly referring to his previous encounters with the media's reporters. It's unclear what they did to infuriate Gianforte, but initial statements, issued by the congressman's team after the incident, said that Jacobs "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face."

    Gianforte later apologized to Jacobs and pledged a $50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Despite the notorious incident, he still won the election to the US House of Representatives from Montana.


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