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Donald Trump: US president celebrates congressman who body-slammed reporter

Donald Trump: US president celebrates congressman who body-slammed reporter”

The White House Correspondents' Association is accusing President Donald Trump of celebrating a crime when he praised a Republican Montana congressman who body-slammed a reporter before his election past year.

Needless to say, Trump's praise of Gianforte - who plead guilty to misdemeanor assault, only adds to the grim view of an America where "free speech" is only protected if it uplifts the current administration.

Representative Greg Gianforte, who made brief remarks at the rally with Trump, was ordered to perform community service as part of his sentence for attacking Ben Jacobs, a correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper, on May 24, 2017, the day before a special election to fill Montana's sole congressional seat.

"I had heard that he bodyslammed a reporter", Trump said Thursday night at a rally in Missoula, Montana, referring to Rep. Greg Gianforte, a Republican congressman from the state.

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The reporter agreed not to sue Gianforte if he wrote a letter of apology and donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Mr Trump said: "Any guy that can do a body slam - he's my kind of guy".

"You love my hair?" the president said, smiling and pointing to a woman in the audience. Given that Trump's under fire for his reaction to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, you'd think he might take it easy on the "violence against reporters" angle.

He added: "We hope decent people will denounce these comments and tht the president will see fit to apologise for them".

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Mr Trump raised the incident amid calls for a stronger response from his administration to reports that US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was ambushed inside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, then tortured, killed and dismembered.

But as he left Washington to travel to the rally on Thursday, Mr Trump warned of "very severe" consequences for the apparent killing. Days after the writer #Khashoggi was murdered, he praises a congressman who physically attacked a reporter.

While outrage over Trump's remarks erupted on social media.

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