The U.S. editor of the Guardian wasted no time in responding to President Trump's celebration of the elected official who assaulted one of its journalists.
John Mulholland issued a statement Thursday in response to the president's comments at a Missoula, Mont., rally. "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," he said.
[Opinion: Rand Paul is right to worry about increasing political violence]
Guardian US editor issues statement responding to Trump: “The President of the United States tonight applauded the assault on an American journalist who works for the Guardian.” pic.twitter.com/sSwUiBQo2J— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 19, 2018
Trump praised Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., who had last year pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for the incident with journalist Ben Jacobs while Gianforte was running for congress.
“Never wrestle him, you understand that? Never,” said Trump Thursday evening. “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy.”
Mulholland pointed to the recent disappearance of Washington Post columnist and dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his criticism of Trump.
"It runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats," he said.
Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and was reportedly killed and dismembered by Saudi forces. Earlier Thursday, Trump said it "certainly looks" like Khashoggi is dead and that if Turkish and Saudi investigations into his disappearance reveal Saudi involvement, consequences would be "very severe.
“I mean it’s bad, bad stuff,” he said. “But we’ll see what happens.”
Saudi Arabia has denied involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.