Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has drawn flak from various quarters for allegedly mocking a disabled New York Times reporter.
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Trump apparently mimicked Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from a congenital joint condition, at a South Carolina rally on Tuesday night. In order to buttress his widely disputed claims that he saw “thousands of Muslims” celebrating the 9/11 attacks, Trump has used a 2001 article in the Washinton Post by Kovaleski.
The New York Times called Trump’s actions “outrageous”. A New York Times spokeswoman said:
“We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters.”
Calling Kovaleski “a nice reporter”, Trump said, “Now the poor guy, you gotta see this guy,” he continued, before apparently mimicking Kovaleski and waving his hands around as the latter would do for suffering from a congenital joint condition.
According to Kovaleski’s original Washinton Post article in 2001, 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”.
However, following Trump’s claims about Muslims in New Jersy celebrating 9/11 attacks, the reporter said he does “not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating”.
Responding to Trump’s actions, Kovaleski said: “The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record.”
(With inputs from agencies)