It's "crazy" for the liberal media to blame President Donald Trump for a newly elected GOP representative's decision to physically assault a reporter, former Education Secretary and Drug Czar Bill Bennett said Friday.
"I have got to tell you, I'm astounded by the fact that it's blamed on Trump, that Trump sort of Jedi-like from Europe can levitate this reporter off the ground and slam him," Bennett told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."
Bennett made his comments while responding to the news Greg Gianforte, who won his race to replace Ryan Zinke, now Trump's secretary of the Interior.
On Wednesday night, just before Thursday's election, Gianforte fought with a reporter asking him questions about the Congressional Budget Office's evaluation of the American Healthcare Act, knocking him to the ground and breaking his glasses.
Gianforte won the race, and in his victory speech apologized to the journalist.
Bennett praised Gianforte for taking responsibility for the incident, and for not blaming Trump.
"I think it's over, because he handled it so well at the victory party, saying he was sorry, apologized personally to the reporter," said Bennett. "But, let's remember, Montana is a physical culture. People deal with things a little differently than they do sometimes."
However, Bennett, the author of "The Book of Virtues," said he thinks what happened, on a moral scale, is pretty trivial.
"On the issue of moral equivalence, is what Gianforte worse than what John Edwards did, than what Bill Clinton did?" said Bennett. "How about Teddy Kennedy who drowned a woman and then ran for re-election?
"This is on a moral scale pretty trivial. This is pretty trivial and he apologized, but to blame it on Trump is crazy. Just crazy."
Bennett said he can empathize with Gianforte, as he has also been in similar situations.
"I remember carrying my son who was a kid then," said Bennett. "Reporters in your face. I said, I need to get out of here. I need to get this child someplace else and they're just blocking your way. I know the temptation."
But still, it was wrong what Gianforte did, said Bennett, while questioning the media's reaction to it.
"There was a more visceral reaction from the liberal media to this than to Manchester or to the other news you guys came out with this morning which is the death of Christian Coptics," said Bennett.
"Are there any Christian Coptics left? How can there be any left at this point?"
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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