President of the White House Correspondents’ Association Oliver Knox slammed President Donald Trump for celebrating an attack on the first amendment by commending Rep. Greg Gianforte’s physical attack on a Guardian journalist last year.
“All Americans should recoil from the president’s praise for a violent assault on a reporter doing his Constitutionally protected job. This amounts to the celebration of a crime by someone sworn to uphold our laws and an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has solemnly pledged to defend it. We should never shrug at the president cheerleading for a violent act targeting a free and independent news media.”
Gianforte pleaded guilty to assault after an audio tape of the attack was made public. According to CNN, He was fined and sentenced community service and was required to attend anger management courses.
Trump praised the GoOP Congressman’s attack at a Montana campaign rally Thursday night. “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy,” Trump said.
Here's the video of Trump on Greg Gianforte body slamming Ben Jacobs: "Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of guy." pic.twitter.com/8tWxLXE6Jx
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 19, 2018
Another critic of Trump’s most recent comments is British Prime Minister Theresa May. A spokesperson for the prime minister told reporters Friday:
“He [Trump] obviously made comments at a political rally, and those are for him. But more generally we would always say that any violence or intimidation against a journalist is completely unacceptable.”
The Reporters Committee also issued a statement Friday against the president’s comments at his rally:
“Celebrating violent attacks on journalists is exactly the type of venomous rhetoric that leads to outcomes like the alleged murder Jamal Khashoggi. Every time the president denigrates the press here at home, he makes a mockery of our values of a free press and our right as Americans to information.”