Donald Trump is no stranger to controversy. Just days ago, he caused a furor following the violent assault of a “Black Lives Matter” protester at his Birmingham campaign rally. While a half dozen or so white Trump supporters hit, kicked and shouted racial slurs at the black protester, The Donald replied by calling security to “get him [the Black Lives Matter protester] the hell out of here.” When the media criticized how Donald Trump reacted to the violence, he responded by saying that maybe the protester “should have been roughed up,” CNN reported.
“Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
Trump’s remarks didn’t set well with many on the left, and they were a direct contradiction of the statement released by his campaign 24 hours previously. His campaign had stated that it “does not condone violence.”
Now, Donald Trump is making waves again, and many are saying that the controversial TV personality with political aspirations has finally gone too far with his latest affront. At a rally in South Carolina on November 24, Trump disparaged and mocked physically disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski. The source of Donald Trump’s problem with the journalist is an article Kovaleski had co-written back in 2001.
The article in question seems to support the validity of Trump’s claim that he’d seen thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering as the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001. Donald Trump has repeatedly defended his assertion, though his claims of thousands of New Jersey Muslims publicly celebrating the fall of the twin towers have been widely discredited.
Kovaleski’s 2001 article, which was published in the Washington Post, referenced Donald Trump’s version of events. The piece referred to “a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks.” When Kovaleski was interviewed by MSNBC on Monday, November 23, he didn’t support the Donald Trump version of what happened in Jersey on 9/11, NBC News reports.
“[I do] not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating.”
Trump was definitely not impressed with the reporter failing to substantiate his claims. From his position at the podium at his South Carolina stump rally, The Donald mocked Kovaleski’s response to the media query. While impersonating Kovaleski’s words, he also made jerky movements with his arms and contorted his hands, presumably in reference to the reporter’s physical disability.
“Now, the poor guy — you ought to see the guy: ‘Uh, I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember.’ “
Donald Trump’s mockery of Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis, hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’s infuriated the New York Times, which released a statement of disgust and outrage at the behavior of the would-be Republican Presidential candidate.
“We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters.”
The reporter in question spoke out in his own defense, as well. Kovaleski told the Washington Post that Donald Trump’s behavior didn’t “jar or surprise” him. The reason for his lack of shock over having his physical disability mocked so publicly and cruelly by Donald Trump? Kovaleski continued on to say that his lack of surprise at something so “low-rent” coming from Trump is based on the GOP front runner’s “track record.”
Social media also exploded with users who were appalled by Trump’s outrageous words and actions.
Donald Trump is denying that he had any knowledge of the reporter’s condition, had no idea whatsoever about Kovaleski’s appearance. He went on to say that he “merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago.” This is Trump’s assertion, despite the fact that he began his mockery of the reporter by saying “you ought to see the guy.”
Despite Donald Trump coming out in his own defense, it appears that this time The Donald might have gone too far. Very few are buying that he was unaware of Kovaleski’s physical impairment — his words and actions seem too obviously a direct insult to precisely that. While he’s managed to remain at the front of the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls, many are wondering if this stunt is going to be the one that Donald Trump can’t recover from.
[Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images]