US President Donald Trump has commended a Republican Congressman for assaulting a journalist last year, referring to him as "my guy".
At a rally in Missoula on Thursday night, Trump praised Montana congressman Greg Gianforte.
Gianforte assaulted a reporter for British daily The Guardian, Ben Jacobs, back in 2017 during his elections campaign.
“He's a great guy," Trump said referring to Gianforte, adding, "any guy who can do a body slam ... he's my guy."
Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to "body slamming" Jacobs, received a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management and a $300 fine along with a $85 court fee.
Trump said back then he had feared the assault could have damaged Gianforte's chances of winning the special congressional election; however, Trump told the crowd at the rally, "I said wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him - and it did". Gianforte won the election the next day and apologized to Jacobs for the assault during his acceptance speech.
Trump, who has regularly called the media “fake news” and the “enemy of the American people”, made the controversial comments ahead of upcoming midterms elections.
He claimed the elections scheduled for November 6 will give US voters an opportunity to choose between mob-seeking Democrats and business-minded Republicans.
"Democrats create mobs. Republicans create jobs," Trump claimed.
Last month, Trump warned that if Republicans lost majority in Congress there would be “violence”.
Analysts say the congressional elections stand as a litmus test for Trump’s popularity.
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Members of the Democratic Party are set to impeach Trump as soon as the window of opportunity opens to them.
Congressman Al Green from Texas said in a recent interview that Trump had to realize that the countdown to his impeachment had already begun.