Yeah, President Trump gives zero you-know-whats, but that’s part of his appeal. He’s disrupting the current D.C. culture—and the political class at both ends of the spectrum hates it. Old 2016 campaign Trump reared its head in all its glory when he gave props to Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT), who became known across the country for body slamming The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs during last year’s special election to fill the vacancy left by Ryan Zinke, who resigned his congressional seat to become Secretary of the Interior. Gianforte won. This incident occurred hours before ballots were counted.
Donald Trump kicked off a western tour in Montana on Thursday ostensibly to support Matt Rosendale as he attempts to unseat Sen. Jon Tester, but it was his praise for House Greg Gianforte's physical assault on a reporter that stole the show.
Gianforte is running for re-election as the state’s lone seat in the House of Representatives, and made national headlines during a special election for assaulting a reporter in a moment caught on audio tape.
"Any guy that can do a body slam, he is my type!" Trump said to cheers.
"I was in Rome with leaders when I heard about it, and I heard that he body-slammed a reporter," Trump said.
Trump said he was afraid Gianforte would lose after the moment, but then recalled, "Wait a moment, I know Montana."
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) is vulnerable, and Trump seems to have made it his mission to clip him after he executed a character assassination campaign against Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, his failed Veterans Affairs nominee. Jackson withdrew after Tester alleged that Jackson was pretty much a pill pusher, who also had alcohol problems. The Secret Service disputed this claim and another in which Jackson supposedly drove a government car while intoxicated. Even CNN—CNN—said the pill pushing allegations were straight trash and overblown.
The president has made it his mission to unseat Tester, whose office publically released information about alleged misconduct that led to White House physician Adm. Ronny Jackson’s failed nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jackson denied allegations of misconduct and that he overprescribed medications, but eventually withdrew his name from consideration. Trump never forgot.
That’s really why I’m here,” Trump said. “I can never forget what Jon Tester did to a man of the highest quality. It was vicious.”
Of course, The Guardian is not happy. And I’m sure more news organizations and anti-Trump journalists will pile on with criticism as well. I hope it triggers another meltdown.
Should politicians be allowed to body slam journalists? No, but the Democratic Party has become a mob, where harassment, doxing, and assault/battery are becoming accepted forms of resistance when it comes to elections and facing Republicans. So, I’m sorry, but I don’t really care that President Trump said this about Gianforte. Yes, journalism can be a dangerous enterprise, especially when covering conflicts but this isn’t like military service. We’re not Marines. We’re not first responders. Stop with the insufferable self-righteousness and false equivalencies, elite media.
The media criticism probably will be fever pitch, given that Saudi Arabian intelligence agents apparently murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at their embassy in Istanbul. Khashoggi was a critic of the Saudi crown prince. And no, the U.S.-Saudi alliance shouldn’t be shredded over this either.
New statement from the Guardian on Trump’s remarks tonight praising Gianforte’s assault —> pic.twitter.com/ZAMUpcII4B— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 19, 2018