Donald Trump applauds Republican congressman Greg Gianforte for 'body-slamming' reporter

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"Never", Trump said at a campaign rally in Montana.

"People wonder whether or not there's a cause and effect -whether or not the president's rhetoric plants seeds of violence in his own supporters".

Trump's remarks at a rally in Montana come amid an worldwide outcry over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who has been missing since entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, whom the president has said is likely dead. "I can never forget what Jon Tester did to a man of the highest quality".

Trump's comment was a reference to when Gianforte body-slammed a reporter in 2017 who got up in his face. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. Even though the incident drew considerable attention, Gianforte defeated his Democratic opponent the next day.

Trump later recalled his initial reaction to the attack, claiming that he thought it would help rather than hurt Gianforte's prospects.

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Greg Gianforte was sentenced to six months of deferred jail time, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management sessions and $385 in fines and court fees for the misdemeanor assault that propelled him and his congressional race into the national spotlight a year ago. "He's going to lose the election".

President Donald Trump - known for his contentious relationship with the press - joked Thursday that GOP Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte's assault of a British reporter helped the lawmaker win his 2017 special election.

Trump made the comments in a speech that otherwise attacked Democrats for "mob" rule, and characterized himself as the candidate of "law and order".

Trump's remarks on Gianforte's assault come amid new evidence surrounding the disappearance of the US-based Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who is feared to have been brutally killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

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