Last night at Donald Trump’s rally in Billings, Montana, the President once again proved his sense of “humor” is completely out of line with mainstream America or even what’s appropriate to make jokes about.
In keeping with his tradition of inciting his followers’ hatred toward the media and toward reporters, Trump made a reference to a dark moment in Montana’s electoral history that happened not so long ago. When he made the part of his speech in which he calls out each state lawmaker and official (who is Republican) by name and says what a great job they’re doing — the same as he does at every rally in every state — he came to one Congressman in particular who has been pretty controversial ever since he ran for office.
Greg Gianforte, the GOP Congressman from Montana’s single, giant “at-large” district that covers the entire state, has been in office since a special election was held in May of 2017 to replace Ryan Zinke, who resigned to become Trump’s highly controversial Secretary of the Interior.
But it was the circumstances of Gianforte’s election that made it odd: On May 24, 2017, Gianforte violently assaulted Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the American edition of The Guardian newspaper. On the following day, he won the special election, with many Republicans actually touting his assault charge as a positive for his campaign.
Turns out they were right because when Trump brought him up during the rally, he made a specific reference to Gianforte’s crime — which he pleaded guilty to in June of that year — and the crowd went absolutely bonkers:
I’m also thrilled to be joined by Montana’s terrific member of Congress, a true champion for Montana, and I’ll tell you what: This man has fought — in more ways than one — for your state. He has fought for your state. Greg Gianforte, he is a fighter and a winner, he is a winner!”
Watch the moment as it happened:
Featured image via screen capture