One can hardly fathom the twisted psyche of a president who, after acknowledging that Jamal Khashoggi, a contributing columnist for The Post’s Global Opinions, had likely been murdered, would go before a cheering mob to lavish praise on a U.S. congressman who physically attacked a journalist. “Any guy who can do a body-slam, he’s my kind of — he’s my guy,” Trump said in a Montana campaign appearance on Thursday, referring to Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) who pleaded guilty to assaulting the Guardian’s reporter Ben Jacobs, who had the temerity to ask Gianforte a health-care question. “I had heard that he body-slammed a reporter. And he was way up. … I said ‘Oh this is terrible, he’s gonna lose the election,’ ” Trump continued. “Then I said, ‘Well, wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.’ And it did.” And his ghoulish fans ate that up.
The Guardian’s U.S. editor responded with a statement: “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,” said John Mulholland. “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. We hope decent people will denounce these comments and that the president will see fit to apologize for them.”