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.
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." pic.twitter.com/8tWxLXE6Jx— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 19, 2018
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."
Trump's statements caused a stir among social media users, many of whom slammed Trump over his comments.
Gosh, how much more of this can any sane person take? Heck, I'm just asking.— Leigh McKnight (@LeighMcKnight) October 19, 2018
He thinks someone body slamming someone else half their size is being tough. What a punk Trump is.— Bruno Amato (@BrunoAmato_1) October 19, 2018
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.
Incredibly chilling. Donald Trump cheering and celebrating violence against a reporter. And these bad people are cheering him on.— Russell Drew (@RussOnPolitics) October 19, 2018
Yes, these are bad people.
This is why he doesn't care about #Khashoggi.
Share this with your friends, Democrats.
This is why we fight.
Do you think for one second that Trump, who relishes Gianforte’s body slamming of a journalist is bothered by the murder of a journalist? #DictatorApprentice— 🇺🇸Les Breeding 🌹 (@LesBreeding1) October 19, 2018
Several Twitterians even suggested that Trump should get a taste of the medicine that he is praising so much.
Would love to see Trump body-slammed. It would break the internet. pic.twitter.com/RaO5YWHmrP— Deb Trinite 🌊☮🌊 (@Odette1961) October 19, 2018
Still, there where some who supported Trump, noting that the journalist deserved to be body slammed over his actions.
And according to reports on Jacob, he deserves everything he got. As do most aggressive reporters who think they can go anywhere and do anything they want.— Jack Smith (@illmannered) October 19, 2018
That dude deserved the body slam and more.— Chris (@realChrisM1985) October 19, 2018
It was a body slam and the guy deserved it— RED BARON (@airforce2100) October 19, 2018
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.