President Donald Trump has made a point of challenging the media at every turn.
Even before becoming president, he dismissed negative news coverage as “fake news” and encouraged his supporters to boo journalists at rallies. He’s repeatedly lambasted journalists, calling them “enemies of the people”.
Now, Trump has praised Montana republican Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter during his campaign last May. At a Montana rally, Trump referenced Gianforte, saying:
Any guy who can do a body slam... he's my guy
Trump's praise for a candidate physically assaulting a journalist is extremely troubling at the best of times, but seems particularly disturbing given the alleged of Washington Post journalist James Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish media reports that he was killed shortly after entering the consulate.
The Saudi government have changed their story various times, now claiming the journalist died in a fist fight. In such circumstances, Trump’s praise of Gianforte - who plead guilty to misdemeanor assault - seems extremely worrying.
Journalists on Twitter have been commenting on just how troubling Trump’s comments are, particularly given the crowd at his rally were seen cheering his rhetoric.