Donald Trump, Republican presidential forerunner, has drawn sharp criticism from The New York Times for lampooning one of its reporters for his disability while addressing supporters at a rally in South Carolina.
Trump derided Serge Kovaleski – a reporter for the newspaper who has disputed Trump’s claim that “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated as the twin towers burned and fell on the other side of the Hudson River during the 9/11 attacks – while flailing and twisting his arms.
Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a chronic congenital condition that affects joint movement.
The New York Times has criticised the act as “outrageous” after the Republican presidential front-runner mocked Kovaleski and appeared to imitate his disability.
“Now the poor guy, you’ve got to see this guy: ‘Uhh, I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember.’ He’s going, ‘I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said’,” Trump said, using an exaggerated voice and arm action as he pretended to be Kovaleski.
“We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” a spokeswoman for the NYT said in a statement.
Trump’s action was apparently prompted by a story Kovaleski had written in 2001 that disproved Trump’s claims that thousands of Muslims in Jersey City cheered the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
This is not the first instance Trump has attacked a reporter he was displeased with during his presidential campaign. One of his targets has been Fox channel host Megyn Kelly who angered Trump with her questions during the first GOP debate. He had at the time ridiculed Kelly and her show.