Watch Trump cheer reporter's assault by Republican Congressman and 'tough cookie' Greg Gianforte
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

As President Donald Trump receives widespread criticism for Saudi Arabia's suspected murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the commander-in-chief praised a Republican who assaulted a journalist while campaigning.

On the eve of Montana's 2017 special election, Republican nominee Greg Gianforte "body slammed" reporter Ben Jacobs. Gianforte went on to win the election and was sworn into Congress despite the attack.

Trump claimed Gianforte is "one of the most respected people in Congress" and asked him up on stage.

"Let me just say, on behalf of all of Montana, Mr. President, thank you for giving us hope again," is all Gianforte said.

"He's so smart," Trump claimed.

"And by the way, never wrestle him," Trump warned. "You understand that? Never."

"Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of--" Trump said, while making a motion of throwing a man.

"He's my guy," Trump continued.

"I shouldn't say this, but there's nothing to be embarrassed by," the commander-in-chief claimed.

Trump said, after hearing about the assault, he was worried it would hurt the Gianforte campaign. But then decided it would actually help the Republican.

"And it did," Trump concluded.

"He's a great guy, tough cookie," Trump added.