Donald Trump has today contradicted himself in his stance on violence towards journalists.
In a rally in the Missoula, Montana on Thursday, the President was praised by Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte for giving the people of the state "hope again."
Trump thanked Gianforte for his glowing comment and added:
Greg is smart and by the way, never wrestle him. Any guy who can do a body slam ... he's my guy.
I shouldn't say this...there's nothing to be embarrassed about.
So I was in Rome with a lot of leaders from other countries talking about all sorts of things and I heard that he body slammed a reporter.
He added that he was concerned that this might impact Gianforte's chances of being elected before concluding:
Then I said, well wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him. And it did.
This is in reference to an incident involving Gianforte and Guardian reported Ben Jacobs in June 2017, where he 'attacked' the journalist who had been trying to ask him questions and Republican healthcare proposals.
Gianforte pleaded guilty to the assault and was sentenced to a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management and $300 fine and $85 court fee.
Gianforte would win his election the next day and did offer an apology during his acceptance speech.
Trump's joking comments came just hours after he was asked about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who hasn't been seen since he entered his country's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2 and is believed to have been murdered.
Prior to boarding a helicopter to Montana, the President was asked about Khashoggi's possible murder, which he stated that he believed to be true. Trump told reporters:
It certainly looks that way to me. It's very sad. Certainly looks that way.
When asked about the possible consequences that Saudi Arabia will have to face he said:
It will have to be very severe. It's bad, bad stuff but we'll have to see what happens.
These two statements from Trump is regards to journalists shouldn't come as a surprise from a man that has been openly hostile to journalists since moving into politics.
His hypocrisy has been pointed out by CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour, as well as others on Twitter.
US officials are currently awaiting the results of a combined investigation by both Turkey and Saudi Arabia to Kashoggi's disappearance, with investigators said to be searching woodland near Istanbul for any remains.
Saudi officials have denied any involvement in the disappearance, whilst US General Secretary Mike Pompeo, who visited the Saudi royal family earlier this week, has told Trump that a "few more days" is needed to complete the investigation.