Donald Trump has been an apologist for the brutal Saudi regime that by all evidence had Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered and dismembered. And, as the Washington Post is reporting, Trump supporters have mounted a whispering campaign against Jamal Khashoggi that is designed to protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident journalist’s alleged murder by operatives of Saudi Arabia. These efforts include highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago. The goal? To telegraph the message that his murder was justified. It is all part and parcel with Trump’s contempt for the free press which is the last backstop to keeping dishonest politicians and authoritarians honest and accountable. If you doubt this, look at Trump's praise for Congressman Greg Gianforte's physical assault on a reporter at a rally last night in Montana. Just as frightening, the crowd cheered. All of this is reminiscent of Hitler's war against the free press as he rose to power - as is the behavior of far too many Americans who ought to know better if they are the moral people they pretend to be. Here are highlights from ABC News on Trump's foul behavior:
Donald Trump kicked off a western tour in Montana on Thursday ostensibly to support Matt Rosendale as he attempts to unseat Sen. Jon Tester, but it was his praise for Congressman Greg Gianforte's physical assault on a reporter that stole the show.
Gianforte is running for re-election as the state’s lone seat in the House of Representatives, and made national headlines during a special election for assaulting a reporter in a moment caught on audio tape.
"Any guy that can do a body slam, he is my type!" Trump said to cheers. "I was in Rome with leaders when I heard about it, and I heard that he body-slammed a reporter," Trump said. Trump said he was afraid Gianforte would lose after the moment, but then recalled, "Wait a moment, I know Montana."
Gianforte pleaded guilty and was sentenced to community service for the incident. He apologized on the night of his election victory, saying, "When you make a mistake you have to own it."
For Trump, the Montana Senate race is personal. Trump came to Montana on the attack against Tester, a two-term Democratic senator, who is in a close race against Matt Rosendale, the current state auditor.
The presidenthas made it his mission to unseat Tester, whose office publically released information about alleged misconduct that led to White House physician Adm. Ronny Jackson’s failed nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jackson denied allegations of misconduct and that he overprescribed medications, but eventually withdrew his name from consideration. Trump never forgot.
The presidentspoke at length about immigration and falsely said that Democrats are supporting a caravan of immigrants traveling up from Central America. . . . “As you know, I’m willing to send the military to defend our Southern border if necessary all because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought by the Democrats because they refuse to acknowledge or to change the laws -- they like it,” Trump said.
While Trump comfortably won the Big Sky state by 20 points, Tester, a moderate Democrat, maintains a slight lead in what has become one of the most expensive political contests in the small state’s history as millions of dollars have poured into Montana. It’s the president’s third trip to Montana, and Tester is only a few points ahead of Rosendale in recent polls.
Praising violence against journalists and playing on racial hatred - all perfectly fine with Trump supporters, including evangelical Christians who like the Pharisees of the Bible make a show of their feigned religiosity even as they betray Christ's message.