Trump denies mocking journalist who has disability, demands an apology

27 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump called out for mocking New York Times reporter’s disability.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump is denying he mocked a reporter with a disability in a South Carolina speech, despite appearing to imitate mannerisms of the “poor guy” and make fun of him. Donald Trump has accused a New York Times reporter of “grandstanding about his disability” as he denied mocking the journalist’s condition during a campaign speech.

A statement posted on his Twitter account Thursday said Trump doesn’t know the reporter personally or what he looks like and was only mocking his journalism. In a speech to supporters on Tuesday night, Trump derided Kovaleski, who has disputed Trump’s claim that he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrate the 9/11 attacks – while flailing and twisting his arms. During the speech, he singled out Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski for a story he wrote a few days after the attacks while he was then a Washington Post correspondent. That article reported authorities had detained “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.” Those accounts have never been authenticated.

In his Thursday statement, Trump said: “I know nothing about [Kovaleski] other than I have great respect for the way he wrote the story on 18 September 2001, and in particular the paragraph talking about Muslims and tailgate parties taking place in New Jersey.” Trump later added to his statement, asking the paper to apologise to him for accusing him of mocking Kovaleski. Kovaleski himself said in a recent CNN interview that he did “not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds of people celebrating. He also reinforced his criticism of the Times in light of its business decisions and fortunes in terms of sales and readership. “Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did,” Trump said. “He should stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a paper that is rapidly going down the tubes.” “Donald and I were on a first-name basis for years,” Kovaleski told the Times on Thursday. “I’ve interviewed him in his office. I don’t remember,’” Trump said at the microphone, jerking his arms in front of his body and slurring his words in a crude impression of the reporter. Jay Ruderman of the Ruderman Family Foundation in Boston said on Thursday the Republican presidential contender should apologise to Kovaleski and the public. “It is unacceptable for a child to mock another child’s disability on the playground, never mind a presidential candidate mocking someone’s disability as part of a national political discourse,” he said.

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