— CNN (@CNN) May 26, 2017
President Trump’s first foreign trip continues, and although we haven’t heard about him shoving or being admonished by any other foreign leaders today, he’s making his presence known at the G7 summit in Sicily. In the above clip, Trump took a photo-call moment to address Montana GOP candidate Greg Gianforte’s U.S. Congressional victory on Thursday night. His simple statement, which appeared to be an unsolicited aside (with a telltale hand motion like Trump was letting reporters in on a secret), included very few words: “Great win in Montana.”
Gianforte, of course, was charged with an eleventh-hour assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs after — according to Fox News eyewitnesses — grabbing Jacobs’ neck, body-slamming him to the ground, and repeatedly punching him when quizzed about the American Health Care Act. His win shouldn’t be too surprising, since a large percentage of Montana residents opt for early voting, and we’re dealing with a political climate where many conservatives believe the media is “fake news.” This distrust is, unavoidably, a direct result of Trump’s own combative attitude towards the press.
Now, the president has endorsed Gianforte’s presence in Congress, which lines up with candidate Trump’s encouragement for his rally attendees to beat the stuffing out of protesters. And although this trend — now seemingly embraced by voters — is disturbing enough on its own, the special election victory for a GOP candidate also gives Democrats reason to worry about the mid-term elections in 2018. (In other words, if the Dems were counting on an anti-Trump backlash to put them back in the majority, signs of certain success aren’t present yet.)