Trump praises Republican congressman who body slammed Jewish reporter
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Trump praises Republican congressman who body slammed Jewish reporter

‘Greg Gianforte, he is a fighter and a winner” Trump says at a rally in Billings, Montana; Gianforte later apologized for attacking Ben Jacobs

In this June 20, 2017, photo, Montana Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte responds to questions at his home in Bozeman, Mont., about an election-eve confrontation with a reporter. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan,)
In this June 20, 2017, photo, Montana Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte responds to questions at his home in Bozeman, Mont., about an election-eve confrontation with a reporter. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan,)

US President Donald Trump praised a Republican congressman from Montana for body slamming a Jewish reporter on the eve of a special election.

At a rally in Billings, Montana on Thursday night, Trump praised Greg Gianforte for physical attacking Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, a London-based newspaper, on the eve of a special election in March 2017.

Trump said at the rally for GOP candidates in midterm elections from the state: “I’m also thrilled to be joined by Montana’s terrific member of Congress, a true champion for Montana. And I’ll tell you what, this man has fought — in more ways than one — for your state. He has fought for your state. Greg Gianforte, he is a fighter and a winner. He’s a winner. Great/ He loves your state.”

Gianforte attacked Jacobs, who is Jewish, after he asked then-candidate Gianforte about the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the Republican health-care bill.

The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. (Screen capture: ABC News)

Gianforte later apologized and announced a $50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists, part of an agreement to settle any potential civil claims. In June 2017, he was sentenced to 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management, and assessed a $385 fine and a six-month suspended jail sentence by the Gallatin County justice court.

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