Never one to miss an opportunity to rile up his supporters, President Donald Trump recently commended a U.S. representative from Montana who is running for re-election for assaulting a reporter last year.
Greg Gianforte, who body slammed a reporter, was hailed by Trump as “my kind of guy” on Oct. 18.
It was another lowlight for Trump, but he knows his voting base will love such antics, so he continues to make crazy comments.
Trump’s remarks were especially revolting because they came after Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared earlier this month after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. U.S. officials said he was likely killed by Saudi officials, and Saudi officials have released more and more statements that suggest that to be the case.
Khasshoggi also worked for The Guardian, and Editor John Mulholland justifiably criticized Trump for his remarks about Gianforte.
“To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it,” Mulholland said. “In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats.”
Democrats and Republicans continue to chastise one another for inciting violence in a vicious cycle that won’t end.
Trump could play a big role in stopping that, but he refuses. During his presidential campaign, he repeatedly encouraged violence, saying he’d like to punch one protestor in the face. His remarks weren’t enough to stop him from getting elected, so it made political sense for him to continue making them.
On Oct. 13, Georgia Senator David Perdue ripped the phone from the hand of a college student after the student asked him about voter registration. Perdue returned the phone moments later, then said in a statement that he thought the student wanted to take a “selfie” photo with him, and when he realized that he didn’t, he returned the phone. That sounds like a lie.
The midterm elections will be held on Nov. 6, and no matter the party, voters should select candidates who will refrain from such behavior. Members of the media shouldn’t feel physically threatened while doing their jobs.