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Reporter Body-Slammed by Congressman Disputes Trump’s Claim: My Attacker is No Tough Cookie

The reporter who was body-slammed by Montana congressman Greg Gianforte spoke out after President Donald Trump praised Gianforte’s assault during a rally on Thursday.

Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday night, The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs started off by saying it was shocking and dismaying that the president mocked a crime where he is the victim, but he is not all that surprised that Trump does not regret his remarks.

“As someone who actually covered this president on the campaign trail for 18 months, I’m very familiar with his M.O.,” he said. “I’ve interviewed him a couple of times. That didn’t surprise me. I wish — I wish he had surprised me. But it was what it was.”

He then said he doesn’t expect Trump to apologize either despite his outlet calling for POTUS to do just that.

“I mean, it would be great if there was one,” he said. “I’m not holding my breath.”

Jacobs then stressed the impact of  Trump’s words were bigger than just about what one Congressman did to him and more about the message it was sending around the world.

“My concern is not about my situation as much as it is with Jamal Khashoggi and everything going on in the world, that the signal this sends about how the United States and how the president of the United States views journalists when 44 journalists have been killed this year,” Jacobs noted. ” What I’m going through, it’s not fun, I’ll get over it, but there are people reporting all across the world right now who are actually, you know, in fear of their lives. And what this does is, you know, a blank check for governments who want to crack down on a free press in places that don’t have the First Amendment.”

He also stressed that Trump’s praise was unwarranted because the man who bodyslammed him is not a tough cookie but a coward.

“A tough cookie doesn’t attack someone out of nowhere without provocation, for asking a question about health care policy,” Jacobs said, directly disputing Trump’s claim that Gianforte’s “a great guy and a tough cookie.”

He added Gianforte’s actions are  “the action of a coward.”

Watch above, via CNN

[image via screengrab]

 

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