There Is No Low Too Low for Trump as He Coddles Saudi Killers and Promotes Violence Against Journalists
“Any guy who can do a body-slam, he’s my kind of — he’s my guy,” Trump said in a Montana campaign appearance on Thursday, referring to Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) who pleaded guilty to assaulting the Guardian’s reporter Ben Jacobs, who had the temerity to ask Gianforte a health-care question. “I had heard that he body-slammed a reporter. And he was way up. … I said ‘Oh this is terrible, he’s gonna lose the election,’ ” Trump continued. “Then I said, ‘Well, wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.’ And it did.” And his ghoulish fans ate that up.
The Guardian’s U.S. editor responded with a statement: “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,” said John Mulholland. “In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats. We hope decent people will denounce these comments and that the president will see fit to apologize for them.”
Trump won’t apologize, of course, nor will his devoted base hold his remarks against him. To the contrary, this is what they love about him — the contempt for a free press, the celebration of male thuggishness, the mindless emotional outbursts. Somehow it empowers them, to side with brutes and bullies, to revel in the silencing of a free press.
And in case you thought such moral depravity was limited to a few thousand fans, a concerted smear campaign against Khashoggi is underway. The Post reports:
In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly. …
Also, as ever, fuck Saudi Arabia. FUCK SAUDI ARABIA.