Among the ranks of Donald Trump’s growing list of adversaries – including but not limited to Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Muslims, the GOP establishment, ultra conservative pundits, and Rosie O’Donnell – one might effectively argue that his favorite opponent (or perhaps his least favorite opponent, as the case may be) are the reporters of the American media. In fact, even when reporters are not overtly taking on Trump, the Donald himself sometimes pokes the proverbial bear by taking a shot or two at media types. From Megyn Kelly of Fox News to Univision’s Jorge Ramos, the Republican frontrunner is quick to throw shade at negative newsies and earlier this week, Donald Trump landed what might be one of his lowest of low blows thus far when he publicly poked fun at one reporter’s disability.
According to CNN Money and other news outlets, Donald Trump publicly harangued New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski at a campaign rally in South Carolina on Tuesday evening, openly mocking Kovaleski’s affliction with a physical disability. The condition, called arthrogryposis, limits Kovaleski’s ability to move his arms.
In discussing an article written by Kovaleski regarding Trump’s largely discredited statements about American Muslims celebrating on September 11, Trump used an “exaggerated voice” and “waved his arms in an awkward manner” while mocking Kovaleski, according to CNN.
CNN also noted that Donald Trump is quite familiar with Serge Kovaleski and his physical appearance, as the reporter covered Trump extensively while working for the New York Daily News. Kovaleski’s hands and arms have been visably affected by arthrogryposis.
Serge Kovaleski has not directly responded to the situation yet, but he has retweeted a number of articles about the flap, as noted by the Daily Mail. A spokesman for The New York Times issued a statement regarding Donald Trump’s impersonation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, condemning the real estate mogul’s shenanigans as “outrageous.”
In the midst of increasing scrutiny over his memory of events concerning September 11, as well as backlash over a plan to compel Muslims to join a government registry, Donald Trump appears to be at the end of his patience with the media, as evidenced not only by his inflammatory rebuke of Kovaleski, but also by virtue of his staff’s newly announced restrictions on media at campaign events. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Katy Tur of NBC News shared on-site reports from a Trump rally in which journalists were not permitted to leave a cordoned area during the event. Moreover, reporters needing to use the facilities were required to have an “escort” when going to the bathroom. Tur said that the aforementioned rules were enforced by the Secret Service, as that agency now protects the candidate on the campaign trail.
Emboldened by his long-running stint as the leader of the GOP pack, Donald Trump continues ramping up rhetoric at virtually every opportunity. Speaking in Knoxville earlier this week, Trump even claimed he can sense when a terrorist attack is imminent. The Donald has also publicly expressed his opinion that he can say “anything” and his supporters will remain dedicated to his cause.
Indeed, saying pretty much anything appears to be working for Trump at this point in the race. He continues to lead his Republican rivals by fairly wide margins in many polls, despite the fact that a number of his most vociferous assertions have been largely debunked. PolitiFact rates a whopping 61 percent of Trump’s highly scrutinized claims as “utterly false” and another 13 percent as “mostly false,” according to the web site Gothamist.
While Ted Cruz is gaining ground as a credible threat to Trump’s spot at the top of the mountain, the blustery billionaire has yet to unleash any negative attacks upon the Texas senator. That particular strategy paid dividends in his dealings with the likes of Jeb Bush and Ben Carson and with months to go before the first primaries, it is likely just a matter of time before Donald Trump turns the politics of derision towards a fresh target or two.
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