Durbin to Trump: ‘We’re the mob? Give me a break’

Illinois Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinBiden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines MORE (D) slammed Republicans on Friday over President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE's praise of GOP Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteOvernight Energy: Dakota Access Pipeline fined over safety violations | Electric cars to outsell combustion vehicles in US by 2036 | Montana governor mobilizes National Guard to assist with wildfires Montana governor mobilizes National Guard to assist with wildfires Montana governor lifts COVID-19 state of emergency MORE (Mont.), who assaulted a reporter last year.

In an interview with CNN, Durbin lambasted the president for labeling Democrats an angry "mob" in recent campaign rallies and statements, suggesting the president's praise of Gianforte promoted violence.

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"Here we have a situation where the president goes to Montana and praises again a Republican congressman for body-slamming a reporter, and we're supposed to be the mob?" Durbin asked CNN's Jake Tapper. "Give me a break."

"Rally after rally, his supporters are out there screaming 'lock her up!' every time he mentions a Democrat, particularly if it's a Democratic woman," Durbin added, noting a recent rally in Iowa that broke out into chants of the phrase when Trump mentioned California Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinNearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards Biden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Stripping opportunity from DC's children MORE (D).

Durbin's comments came after Trump praised Gianforte during a campaign rally in Montana this week, touting the congressman's wrestling skills.

"Any guy that can do a body slam — he's my kind of guy," Trump said at the rally Thursday.

Gianforte was sentenced last year to community service and anger management after body-slamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs a day before the state's special election, which he went on to win.

The president doubled down on his comments Friday, calling his Montana campaign rally a "tremendous success" despite criticism over his remarks.

Republicans, including former representative and conservative radio host Joe Walsh, criticized Trump over his praise for Gianforte.

"The President encourages & applauds physical violence against a journalist," Walsh tweeted Friday morning after the rally. "Hey Republicans, don't ever complain again about violence coming from the Left," he added.