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US President Donald Trump speaks during a 'Make America Great' rally in Missoula, Montana, on October 18, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is facing harsh criticism from the White House Correspondents' Association after he praised a Republican Congressman who body slammed a reporter last year.

"All Americans should recoil from the president's praise for a violent assault on a reporter doing his Constitutionally protected job," White House Correspondents' Association president Olivier Knox said in a statement. "This amounts to the celebration of a crime by someone sworn to uphold our laws and an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has solemnly pledged to defend it. We should never shrug at the president cheerleading for a violent act targeting a free and independent news media."

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