Trump claims he wasn’t mocking reporter’s disability
Trump issued a statement on Thanksgiving after the New York Times took issue with how he portrayed one of their reporters who is disabled.
Donald Trump isn’t taking a holiday from controversy as video of him from a campaign rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Tuesday night where he appears to mock a reporter is making headlines.
The U.S. Republican presidential candidate is now denying that he wasn’t making fun of the reporter.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon, Trump said he had no idea what the reporter Serge Kovaleski looked liked or “his level of intelligence.”
Trump goes on to add, “I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter getting 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 definitely would not say anything about his appearance.”
During the campaign stop, Trump was speaking about an article written by the former Washington Post reporter about the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Reuters reported. Trump was discussing the piece because of comments he made saying that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey had celebrated the attacks. Kovaleski’s story disputed those claims.
"A nice reporter. Now, the poor guy, you gotta see this guy. 'Oh, I don't know what I said, I don't remember,'" Trump said as he waved and bent his arms, according to Reuters, which added that Kovaleski suffers from a chronic muscular disease that affects his arm movement.
Among those who did not react kindly to Trump’s portrayal of Kovaleski, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who now works for the New York Times, was his current publication.
"We find it's outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters," a Times representative told CNNMoney.
In his statement, Trump fired back at the Times, which he said claimed he had met Kovaleski over the years.
“This is just another example of the dishonest New York Times trying to make a story out of nothing” Trump said. They should focus on the survival of their newspaper and not on dishonest and very bad reporting about me.”