Eric Trump Says Dad Donald Was 'Having Fun’ When He Praised Politician Who Assaulted Journalist
Last week, President Trump sparked outrage after praising Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, who body-slammed a journalist in 2017
Eric Trump doesn’t think people should be so sensitive when it comes to his father’s remarks.
On Friday, President Donald Trump’s eldest son defended his father over a comment made during a rally in Missoula, Montana, where Trump praised Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, who made headlines in 2017 after he body-slammed a journalist.
“Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of… he’s my guy,” Trump remarked during the rally, according to The Hill.
Although the comment prompted outrage, with critics accusing Trump of supporting violence, Eric told Fox News on Friday that his father was just having “fun.”
“Oh stop, he wasn’t the guy who body-slammed anybody. He can have fun,” Eric, 34, remarked, adding that this kind of behavior “is actually exactly why my father won [the presidential election].”
“To go out there as a guy who is a little — who is un-PC and probably won because he’s un-PC, [and say] anybody who body-slammed somebody, he’s my kind of guy’ and joke about it and the whole crowd’s laughing, like stop,” Eric said.
During the rally, Trump, 72, pointed out that he wasn’t the only one who supported Gianforte, as he believed the incident helped the politician win at the polls that year.
“So I was in Rome with a lot of the leaders from other countries, talking about all sorts of things, when I heard about it,” Trump said, adding that he initially thought, “‘Oh, this is terrible. He’s going to lose the election.”
“Then I said, ‘Well, wait a minute. I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.’ And it did,” he added. “He’s a great guy and a tough cookie.”
Gianforte, a Republican, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge for body-slamming Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, according to the Washington Post. The incident occurred after the politician was asked a question about health care. Gianforte was also also fined, and forced to undergo community service and anger management.
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Following the president’s comments, Oliver Knox, the President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, issued a condemnation of Trump.
“All Americans should recoil from the president’s praise for a violent assault on a reporter doing his Constitutionally protected job,” he wrote in a statement.
“This amounts to the celebration of a crime by someone sworn to uphold our laws and an attack on the First Ammendment by someone who was solemnly pledged to defend it,” he continued. “We should never shrug at the president cheerleading for a violent act targeting a free and independent news media.”