Late Thursday night, at one of his rallies, Trump thought it would be a good idea to support a congressman for “body-slamming” a reporter back in May, per CNN. After congressman Gianforte of Montana committed the misdemeanor, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced with a 180 day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management classes, a $300 court fine and an $85 court fee. And he’s still in political office.
Not only does this come in the wake of a lawsuit against Trump, on the grounds that he threatens freedom of the press, but he’s also shown total indifference, if not compliance, in the recent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump’s cronies at the rally cheer and laugh when Trump says “any guy who can do a body slam, that’s my guy,” and lifts his arms up like a robot programmed to do a body slam. Trump then describes Gianforte as “a tough cookie.”
Gianforte himself, though, waited until after his victory to apologize to the Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs; almost as if he was worried doing so might affect how his constituents voted. It’s only after the congressman uses the assault to his advantage that he bothers to acknowledge the wrongdoing. He certainly doesn’t bother to try and stop Trump from humiliating the reporter in front of the nation.
Assaulting reporters is now, apparently, a quality to look for in politicians as the President’s attitude toward the media is rearing its head more and more everyday.