Corporate twat and presidential hopeful Donald Trump has been condemned for unbelievably mocking a reporter’s disability during a campaign speech.
The Republican presidential frontrunner imitated the The New York Times’ culture and investigative reporter, Serge Kovaleski, during a rally in South Carolina on Tuesday. Mr Kovaleski suffers from a congenital condition that affects how his joints move.
Trump did his cruel impression while defending a wild claim he made a few days earlier, that he had seen thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on the day of the 9/11 attacks.
Trump’s ridiculous claim has since been discredited by government and law officials who were in New Jersey at the time.
In a 2001 article written by Mr Kovaleski for The Washington Post, he said:
Authorities 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 in Jersey city, within hours of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centre.
But Mr Kovaleski told CNN this week: “But I do not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating. That was not the case, as best as I can remember it.”
Mr Trump was referencing these comments when he imitated Mr Kovaleski.
He said: “The poor guy. You’ve got to see this guy. Ah, I don’t remember what I said! I don’t remember!” while jerking around in manner mocking Mr Kovaleski’s illness.
The presidential candidate’s campaign spokeswoman declined to comment on the incident, but another campaign official said the entrepreneur was “not aware of any condition and was not mocking his physical appearance in any way.”
The official added that Mr Trump “was merely emphasising the uncertainty of the verbal/written statement provided by the reporter in regards to his article”.
It is believed that Mr Trump is familiar with Mr Kovaleski as the latter covered him while a reporter for The New York Daily News in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
Following the incident, Mr Kovaleski said to The Washington Post:
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.
Mr Trump has heavily criticised for his inappropriate behavior, with a petition even being started on change.org to “make Trump apologise to Serge Kovaleski”.