Trump told a rally crowd on Thursday night, "Any guy that can do a body slam - he's my kind of guy".
"Any guy that can do a body slam is my candidate". It's unclear what they did to infuriate Gianforte, but initial statements, issued by the congressman's team after the incident, said that Jacobs "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face". "Look, I have always been concerned about the President's language on a lot of these things".
"We endorsed Greg really early, but I heard that he had body slammed a reporter".
"I said, 'This is awful".
"I shouldn't say this", he said, then adding "there's nothing to be embarrassed about".
"You love my hair?" the president said, smiling and pointing to a woman in the audience.
But as he left Washington to travel to the rally on Thursday, Mr Trump warned of "very severe" consequences for the apparent killing.
Gianforte pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault 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 a $85 court fee.
Gianforte later apologized to Jacobs and pledged a $50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
"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", The Guardian's USA editor, John Mulholland, said in a statement. The Guardian has also reacted to the news, noting that the USA president had applauded "the assault of an American journalist".
He added: "We hope decent people will denounce these comments and tht the president will see fit to apologise for them". "President Trump should use his platform to condemn press freedom abuses at home and overseas, not cheer on physical assaults of reporters".
Journalists from the US and around the world were quick to express solidarity with the Guardian and condemned Trump's comments as "shocking" and those of a "psychopath".
The Guardian US editor John Mulholland took aim at Trump's remarks.