The Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter

The Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter

British newspaper The Guardian criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor's race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny MORE Thursday for making light of a congressman's assault of a Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs, during a campaign rally in Montana Thursday night.

The newspaper's condemnation came minutes after Trump joked that he thought Montana Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteMontana New Members 2019 Gianforte defeats Democrat for Montana's at-large congressional seat Sabato's Crystal Ball: Dems will pick up more than 30 House seats, GOP set to keep Senate MORE's (R) assault of Jacobs during Montana's special House election last year probably helped Gianforte win the race.

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“Never wrestle him. Never. Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of…he’s my guy,” Trump told an audience at his campaign rally in the state Thursday, adding: "I said, ‘Well wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him,’ and it did…He’s a great guy and a tough cookie."

"The President of the United States tonight applauded the assault of an American journalist working for The Guardian," the newspaper's editor John Mulholland wrote in a statement obtained by The Washington Post.

Mulholland added such statements would only inflame future violence against journalists in the wake of the rumored death of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist for The Washington Post who was last seen entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey weeks ago.

"We hope decent people will denounce these remarks and that the president will see fit to apologize for them," the editor added.

Gianforte, who won the election a day after the assault, was sentenced last year to community service for body-slamming Jacobs. The congressman was also ordered to pay a $385 fine.

“I am sorry for what I did and the unwanted notoriety this has created for you. I take full responsibility," Gianforte previously said in an apology statement to Jacobs.