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

Illinois Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinLawmakers say fixing border crisis is Biden's job Number of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports Grassley, Cornyn push for Senate border hearing MORE (D) slammed Republicans on Friday over President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE's praise of GOP Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianfortePutting the president's pharmacy vaccine plan into action The Hill's Morning Report - Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure Montana governor tests positive for COVID-19 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 FeinsteinCaitlyn Jenner exploring bid for California governor: report WokeWorld comes for 'oppressor' Obama: Activists rip school being named after 'deporter in chief' Senators press for answers in Space Command move decision 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.