Never one to back down when he is wrong, 2016 GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump doubled down on his attack on a disabled reporter, accusing him of using his disability to “grandstand” after the candidate came under fire for mocking him.
Trump added to the seemingly endless list of people and groups he has insulted or alienated during his White House run, when he mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski who suffers from a physical condition that limits his ability to move his limbs.
At a rally in South Carolina this week, Trump made fun of the reporter, flailing his arms around while saying, “You ought to see the 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 was referring to a report Kovaleski filed in 2001 where he stated authorities claimed to have received reports of Muslims celebrating during the 9/11 attacks.
Trump has previously stated that he saw Muslims celebrating, although there appears to be no record or visual proof the celebrations ever occured.
Trump’s cruel impression of Kovaleski has been roundly condemned, with the exception of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough who found it amusing, causing the candidate to do damage control — by attacking the reporter once again.
In a statement, Trump said he wouldn’t know Kovaleski if he saw him, stating he could be either NFL football player J.J. Watt or boxer Muhammad Ali for all he knew.
“Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did,” Trump continued. “He should stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a paper that is rapidly going down the tubes.”