Trump praises Republican congressman for body slamming journalist

A Secret Service agent stands guard as President Trump speaks at Alumni Coliseum in Richmond Ky. on Oct. 13

Greg Gianforte of Montana for body slamming a reporter during his campaign last May, saying at a campaign rally on Thursday that Gianforte is "my guy".

Gianforte pleaded guilty in June 2017 to misdemeanor assault after he was accused of body-slamming journalist Ben Jacobs at a campaign event.

Gianforte was captured on an audio recording physically assaulting Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian newspaper.

"This will be an election of (Justice Brett) Kavanaugh, the caravan, law and order and common sense", Trump said. The confrontation occurred in May 2017, one day before Gianforte won a special election for Montana's sole seat in the House of Representatives.

Trump's remarks at a rally in Montana come amid an global 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. "Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of...he's my guy", Trump told the Missoula crowd. I know Montana pretty well.

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This is the first time as president that Trump has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil, although he commonly attacks what he calls the "fake news" media, such as CNN and NBC.

"And then I said, well, wait a minute".

Mr Gianforte, who attended the rally with the President, is up for re-election in November and faces former state legislator Kathleen Williams.

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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