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.
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.