Donald Trump’s controversial presidential campaign has been engulfed by fresh scandal after the larger than life businessman openly mocked a reporter’s disability on stage.
New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski had been cited by Trump to back his dubious claim that ‘thousands and thousands’ of Muslims in New Jersey had celebrated during 9/11 following discovery of a contemporary Washington Post article written by Kovaleski describing ‘tail-gate style parties on rooftops’.
In response Trump said he felt vindicated and demanded an apology from critics but Kovaleski sought to downplay the piece, telling CNN he did not recall anyone saying there were ‘thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating.”
Later, at a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump impersonated the reporter by saying ‘Ughh I don’t know what I said “I don’t remember. He’s going, ‘I don’t remember!’ Maybe that’s what I said.” During this time Trump let his right hand hang limp during faltering movements on the podium in an apparent impersonation of Kovaleski’s arthrogryposis, a congenital condition.
Remarking upon the incident 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.”
Trump later denied knowing Kovaleski, insisting he was only mocking his journalism.