'He's My Kind of Guy': Trump Defends Congressman Who Assaulted a Reporter

Republican Greg Gianforte is a 'tough cookie' and a 'great guy,' Trump says of the congressman who has pleaded guilty to assaulting a journalist who asked him a question last year

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., is greeted on stage by President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at Minuteman Aviation Hangar, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018
Carolyn Kaster,AP

President Donald Trump is defending Republican congressman Greg Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a reporter who asked him a question last year.

At a campaign rally in Montana on Thursday, Trump said, "Any guy that can do a body slam — he's my kind of guy."

Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs says Gianforte "body slammed" him for asking a question in May 2017, the day before Gianforte won a special election for Montana's only U.S. House seat.

Gianforte initially told police that Jacobs instigated the attack but later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and said Jacobs did nothing wrong.

Gianforte is being challenged in November's election by former state legislator Kathleen Williams. Trump called Gianforte a "great guy," a "tough cookie."