Donald Trump In Hot Water For Seemingly Mocking Reporter With Disability, Fires Back And Demands Apology

by 2 years ago

Donald Trump craves being in the spotlight, but once again it is controversy, not substance that has put him in the headlines. His newest shitstorm is the result of the leading Republican presidential candidate seemingly mocking a reporter with a disorder.

On two occasions during speeches, Trump said that he saw people cheering in New Jersey after the September 11 attacks. Trump first made the claim at a campaign rally in Alabama, where he said he “watched the World Trade Center go down” and watched in New Jersey, “as thousands of people were cheering as the building was coming down.”

“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey where you have large Arab populations,” Trump told George Stephanopoulos in an interview on ABC’s This Week. “They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down.”

When Stephanopoulos replied by saying, “Police say it didn’t happen,” and Trump retorted, “It was well covered at the time.”

Despite Trump saying he saw it on television, there are no videos of Muslims celebrating in the streets of New Jersey. Not one television station, who has access to all of their archived footage, has found this purported scene. Not one video has shown up on the Internet. There was however video of people celebrating the devastating events of 9/11 in Palestine.

The Trump campaign did unearth a Washington Post article by Serge Kovaleski that said authorities in Jersey City “detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.” The Post story includes no source for this information, and other similar rumors were either debunked or unproven. It turns out that this ugly accusation is an urban myth since there is no credible information on anyone celebrating, let alone “thousands” of people.

Kovaleski, who has since joined the New York Times, has said he has no recollection of his sources for his article.

Because Trump disliked the fact that the reporter did not back his claims, the tycoon blasted him during a rally in South Carolina. “Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy,” Mr. Trump said, before flailing his arms around and holding his arms in an awkward manner. “‘Uhh I don’t know what I said. Uhh I don’t remember.’ He’s going like ‘I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said.'”

There have been much criticism of Trump for mocking Kovaleski, who has a physical disability called arthrogryposis, which limits the functioning of his joints especially in his arms.

After several media outlets lambasted Trump for his insensitive comments, Trump said that he had never met Mr. Kovaleski.

Trump went on the offensive:

“I have no idea who this reporter, Serge Kovaleski is, what he looks like or his level of intelligence. I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago. If Mr. Kovaleski is handicapped, I would not know because I do not know what he looks like. If I did know, I would definitely not say anything about his appearance. Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him. What I do know is that after 14 years and no retraction, this reporter tried to pull away from the tailgate party paragraph he wrote many years ago for The Washington Post.”

He reiterated his stance on Twitter.

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However, Kovaleski reported on Trump extensively between 1987 and 1993 for The Daily News, and was on a first-name basis with him at one point. The reporter said that he is sure that Trump remembers him and his physical condition.

Trump also described Kovaleski “nice guy” before ridiculing him at the rally.

Trump then took aim at The New York Times.

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Trump also demanded an apology from the New York Times and said that Kovaleski “should stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a paper that is rapidly going down the tubes.”

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How will Trump outdo himself next time?

[Mediaite]


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