President Donald Trump on Thursday night praised Rep. Greg Gianforte's (R., Mont.) intellect and then said that anybody who can do a body slam is "my guy."
"Let me just say on behalf of all of Montana, Mr. President, thank you for giving us hope again," said Gianforte at a rally in Missoula, Montana.
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Trump then went up to the podium, where he said that Gianforte was "so smart" and warned people about wrestling him, referencing an incident last summer where he body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs after he questioned him about the Republican health care bill the night before a congressional special election.
"Any guy that can do a body slam is my candidate. He is my guy," Trump said. "So I was in Rome with a lot of the leaders from other countries talking about all sorts of things, and I heard about it. And we endorsed Greg very early, but I had heard he body-slammed a reporter."
"I said, ‘This is terrible. He's going to lose the election.' And then I said, ‘Well, wait a minute I know Montana pretty well. I think it might help him.' And it did," Trump said. "He's a great guy, tough cookie."
Shortly after the incident, Gianforte defeated Democratic opponent Rob Quist and publicly apologized for the incident. He would be charged with a misdemeanor assault and would donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.