Donald Trump Denies Mocking Serge Kovaleski’s Disability
Donald Trump has denied mocking disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski during a campaign address earlier this week.
The Republican presidential hopeful flailed his arms while referring to an article about the 9/11 attacks by Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from a congenital joint condition.
However, Donald Trump insisted he did not know what the reporter looked like.
He tweeted that he simply was “showing a person groveling to take back a statement made long ago”.
“I do not know the reporter for the @nytimes, or what he looks like. I was showing a person groveling to take back a statement made long ago!” the tycoon wrote.
The row erupted after Donald Trump’s speech at a rally in South Carolina on November 24.
Donald Trump used a 2001 article by Serge Kovaleski, who at the time worked for the Washington Post, to back up his own widely disputed claims that “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the September 11 attacks in the US.
In his article, Serge Kovaleski’s wrote that “law enforcement 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.
However, Serge Kovaleski recently told CNN he did “not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds of people celebrating”.
At the rally, Donald Trump accused Serge Kovaleski of backing down from his own story.
“Now the poor guy, you gotta see this guy,” the billionaire said, before launching into an apparent impression of Serge Kovaleski, waving his arms around with his hands at an odd angle.
“Uhh I don’t know what I said. Uhh I don’t remember. He’s going like <<I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said>>.”
Serge Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a condition that affects the movement of joints and is noticeable in his right arm and hand.
He reported on Donald Trump between 1987 and 1993. He has said he is sure the businessman remembers him and his physical condition, the Washington Post reported.
The New York Times has called Donald Trump’s actions “outrageous”.