Trump recalled that as he was traveling in Rome last May, he heard that Gianforte had body-slammed a journalist shortly before voters went to the polls in his closely contested election race — and initially thought the altercation would damage Gianforte’s prospects.
“Then I said, ‘well wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well. I think it might help him,’” Trump told the crowd in Missoula. “And it did.”
In a statement, the Guardian’s U.S. editor denounced Trump’s remarks as “an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it.”