Leahy: Trump comments demean Constitution

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) responded to President Trump's comments about a politician who body-slammed a journalist, saying he could not imagine any other president speaking like this.

Posted: Oct 20, 2018 5:16 PM
Updated: Oct 20, 2018 5:23 PM

Sen. Patrick Leahy on Friday criticized President Donald Trump for jokes he made at a rally Thursday night about Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte's assault of a journalist.

"I think it's terrible," the Vermont Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "Wolf." "I cannot imagine any president -- I've been here since President Ford -- I've been here with Republicans and Democrats. I cannot imagine any president in the United States saying anything so irresponsible."

In praising Gianforte at a rally in Montana Thursday, Trump made reference to a 2017 incident wherein Gianforte drew national attention after assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for asking him a question a day before the election. He later apologized for the incident and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.

"But Greg is smart," Trump said. "And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand that? Never."

"Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of ... He was my guy," he continued and made a gesture mimicking a body slam.

Trump has made his critiques of the press a central part of his political persona. Leahy said Friday the barrage of attacks against journalists isn't healthy for the country.

"We should be the beacon of freedoms. It demeans the United States, it demeans our Constitution and it's wrong," he said. "We are different than dictatorships and totalitarian governments because we have a free press and every president -- Republican or Democrat -- should be defending and supporting our free press even when it criticizes him."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Ramsey14726372
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Crow Wing114322
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 122218

Reported Deaths: 1691
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19732289
Woodbury743799
Linn6038133
Johnson602431
Black Hawk5974102
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Story411118
Dallas357347
Pottawattamie337845
Sioux254417
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Plymouth172831
Wapello158962
Clinton156228
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Cerro Gordo150227
Crawford138714
Warren13137
Carroll120413
Jasper119734
Henry11245
Marion106811
Lee101312
Tama100538
Delaware82713
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Bremer7199
Harrison69716
Washington69311
Jackson6853
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Lyon5688
Clay5574
Louisa54415
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Jones5004
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Clayton4923
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Iowa4429
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