President Trump praised his party’s Thursday win in Montana, where a special election was decided in favor of Republican Greg Gianforte, who one day earlier was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly body-slamming a reporter.
Trump made the comments while in Sicily for a Group of Seven summit. After posing for photos with the leaders of other G-7 countries, the group had begun to disperse when he volunteered his assessment of the race.
“Great win in Montana,” he offered.
Montana held a special congressional election to fill the seat of Ryan Zinke, who vacated his House seat to serve as secretary of the interior. On Wednesday night, Gianforte was accused of manhandling Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, who had asked him to respond to the Congressional Budget Office assessment of the Republicans’ American Health Care Act.
Trump had supported Gianforte by recording robocalls for him. The White House did not immediately respond to the charges levied against him. Critics connected the incident to Trump’s frequent verbal attacks on journalists, whom he labeled as “scum” during the campaign.
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