Donald Trump is refusing to apologize for appearing to mock a New York Times reporter with a disability.
Trump posted a pair of statements to his official Twitter account on Thanksgiving Day contradicting claims by the New York Times that he has met reporter Serge Kovaleski, or stating that at least he does not remember meeting him despite having “one of the all-time great memories.”
“I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago,” Trump wrote, trying to explain why he flailed his arms in imitation of the reporter at a campaign rally this week and said, “You ought to see the guy.”
Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a congenital joint condition that causes impaired use of the arms.
Trump added, “If Mr. Kovaleski is handicapped, I would not know because I do not know what he looks like. If I did know, I would definitely not say anything about his appearance.”
“He should stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a paper that is rapidly going down the tubes,” Trump concluded, taking another dig at the New York Times, one of the candidate’s favorite media targets.
At a campaign rally earlier this week, Trump read aloud a 2001 article that Kovaleski had written while he was a reporter for the Washington Post. The article, written just after 9/11, stated that law enforcement had detained a number of people allegedly seen celebrating in the wake of the attack, something Trump claims to have witnessed personally.
However, Kovaleski has come out stating that the reports were never verified and that there is no proof of such celebrations taking place.
Trump acknowledged Kovaleski’s disavowal of the article, but in so doing appeared to mock the reporter’s disability.