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

Illinois Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinA national interest rate cap would harm consumers in the name of consumers Senate committee approves 0 million for state election security efforts GOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi MORE (D) slammed Republicans on Friday over President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE's praise of GOP Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 House GOP fears retirement wave will lead to tsunami 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 FeinsteinGOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi Democratic senators quietly hope Biden wins over rivals Grassley: Kavanaugh classmate didn't contact Senate panel 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.