On the same night President Donald Trump praised Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte for physically assaulting a journalist, his son Eric was complaining about “the lack of civility” shown by people on the left side of politics.
“The lack of civility, I talk about it all the time. It’s unbelievable. I saw that earlier today and, listen, that helps. Honestly, those people are so radical no-one can relate to them,” Trump said Thursday during an appearance on Fox News show The Ingraham Angle.
He continued: “When does this end? Americans don’t want to see this stuff. That’s not who we are as a society. That is a rogue faction. But the left has gone so far left, they’ve become so radicalized, that they think this is acceptable behavior.”
The following day, Eric appeared on Fox News to defend his father’s controversial remarks a day earlier.
“By the way, this is actually exactly why my father won. Because so many people are so sick and tired of the perfectly scripted politician who memorized their little soundbite and they went out there and they had no crowds and they weren’t any fun and they had no charisma, they had no personality,” President Trump’s second-eldest son said on Friday morning.
His comments come a day after his father lauded Gianforte for body-slamming Ben Jacobs, a reporter from The Guardian, last year. Gianforte pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in June 2017 and was sentenced to a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management and a $300 fine along with an $85 court fee.
“Never wrestle him. Never. Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of … he’s my guy,” Trump said in Missoula, Mont.
The White House Correspondents’ Association also issued a rare condemnation of the president, saying in a statement on Friday that Trump’s words amounted to “the celebration of a crime by someone sworn to uphold our laws and an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has solemnly pledged to defend it.”
“We should never shrug at the president cheerleading for a violent act targeting a free and independent news media,” the statement added.