Although President Donald Trump did not travel to Montana to personally show support for Greg Gianforte, two key members of the Trump circle did and there are plenty of photos of them with the controversial Congressional candidate. Both Donald Trump Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence went to Montana to back Gianforte.
Gianfronte was charged with misdemeanor assault on the night before today’s election for allegedly “body slamming” Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs when he asked a question about the Republican health care plan. Montanans are heading to the polls today to pick Gianforte or Democrat Rob Quist to replace current Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke as Montana’s sole representative in the House.
Trump himself showed support for Gianforte with a robocall, in which he called Gianforte a “wonderful guy” and “my friend.”
Although Pence also recorded a robocall, her personally came to Montana on May 12. “We need more allies in Congress to make America great again, and we need Greg Gianforte,” Pence said at the Billings rally, reports the Billings Gazette.
Trump Jr. traveled to Montana twice, first in April and then again earlier this month. During the April trip, Trump Jr. went hunting with Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines, Montana’s Republican U.S. Senator. “Grabbing dinner in Ingomar, MT at the Jersey Lilly with @DonaldJTrumpJr and @GregForMontana #beansoup,” Daines wrote.
Zinke also joined Trump Jr. in Montana to support Gianforte.
After Gianforte was charged for the incident with Jacobs, Daines issued a statement, saying he doesn’t condone violence.
“I have confidence in local law enforcement,” Daines wrote. “I do know Greg Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault and will leave the questions and answers to local law enforcement. I do not condone violence in any way.”
In his May visit to Montana, Trump Jr. compared Gianforte, a businessman with no prior political experience, compared him to the president, notes Montana Public Radio.
“He doesn’t need this job. Just like my father didn’t need this job,” Trump Jr. said in May. “He wants this job because he loves this country. He wants this job because he loves this state.”
Here’s video from Trump Jr.’s April appearance at a Gianforte rally.