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

Illinois Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Trump commutes sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Blagojevich in rash of clemency orders The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (D) slammed Republicans on Friday over President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE's praise of GOP Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteGOP leader warns lawmakers on fundraising: 'Getting our ass kicked' Providing more information on the prescription drug supply chain will help lower costs for all Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 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 FeinsteinDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe House passes bipartisan bill to create women's history museum Democrats bullish on bill to create women's history museum: 'It's an election year' 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.