President Trump does not regret laudatory comments he made about Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., who body-slammed a journalist last year, he said Friday.
“No. No. Not at all. Different worlds,” the president told reporters during an event in Scottsdale, Ariz., when asked whether he regrets bringing up Gianforte’s assault on the reporter. “That was a different league and a different world.”
Trump called Gianforte a “great guy.”
“That was a tremendous success last night in Montana, and Greg is a tremendous person and he’s a tough cookie, and I’ll stay with that,” the president continued.
Trump has come under fire for his remarks about Gianforte, which he made during a rally in Missoula, Mont., on Thursday night.
“Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy,” the president told his supporters of the congressman.
Trump’s comments came as the U.S. awaits the results of an investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was last seen walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Turkish officials believe Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents in the diplomatic facility, but the Saudi government denies having any involvement.
Gianforte pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor assault after he body-slammed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, in May 2017.