President President Donald Trump arrives as the sun sets to speak at a campaign rally at Minuteman Aviation Hangar, October 18, 2018, in Missoula, Montana. Jon Tester (D-Montana).
Representative Greg Gianforte threw a Guardian reporter a year ago and repeatedly punched him.
"Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of guy", Trump told the crowd. "I shouldn't say that - (but) there's nothing to be embarrassed about".
"And I said 'Oh, this is bad. he's going to lose the election, '" Trump said before adding, "Then I said 'Well, wait a minute".
Gianforte attacked Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for asking a question in May 2017, the day before Gianforte won a special election for Montana's only U.S. House seat.
This is the first time as president that Trump has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil, although he commonly attacks what he calls the "fake news" media, such as CNN and NBC. "He's going to lose the election".
"And then I said, well, wait a minute". I know Montana pretty well; I think it might help him.
Trump made the comments in a speech that otherwise attacked Democrats for "mob" rule, and characterized himself as the candidate of "law and order".
Riyadh is suspected of murdering Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and USA permanent resident whose writings have been critical of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia and its leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reportedly feared that his native county would retaliate against him.