Serge Kovaleski is a reporter for the New York Times who lives with arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that affects the joints and muscles. Because of this, Kovaleski’s hand sometimes spasms as the joints contract and his hands rest in odd positions. He has overcome this problem to become a respected news reporter.
Donald Trump is neither respected nor a reporter, but he is an insensitive bully. When speaking about the (non-existent) celebrations in New Jersey after the fall of the WTC towers, Trump somehow thought it was appropriate to make fun of Kovaleski’s condition. Why? Because the reporter didn’t back him up on the outrageous — and thoroughly debunked — claim of “thousands” celebrating on 9/11 with tailgate parties. The South Carolina crowd was eating it up since it feeds into their xenophobic narrative.
Related: Trump Stokes Conservative Fear Genie, Rubs Out A Lie Saying NJ ‘Arabs’ Celebrated After 9/11
Trump referred to Kovaleski as a “nice reporter,” then went on to “imitate” him, jerking his hands around:
Now the poor guy — 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.’
Aside from the fact that Trump is full of poodoo regarding the celebrations in New Jersey, aside from mocking what Kovaleski said, Trump thought it was acceptable to make fun of Kovaleski’s disability. Think about that for a moment. A candidate for President of the United States flapped his hands and arms around in imitation of a disabled American like a schoolyard bully. Absolutely disgusting.
On top of that, when talking about this speech Trump made, Joe Scarborough found the “imitation” amusing. On Morning Joe, he defended Trump’s use of it and even laughed after showing a clip. It was okay, Joe asserted because there is an “element of truth” to what Trump was saying:
… the poor Washington Post reporter writes this. At the time. And now he’s really, really backing up, going ‘Oh I don’t know what I saw.’ Listen, if he didn’t see it he wouldn’t have put it in the newspaper. So this is what people always do. They overreact to Donald Trump’s overreaction and in overreacting to Donald Trump’s overreaction…
What Kovaleski wrote in the Washington Post was that police were investigating reports of Muslims “dancing in the streets” of Jersey City and Paterson on 9/11; reports which turned out to be bogus. John J. Farmer Jr., the New Jersey attorney general at the time, said that he had ordered an investigation on the day of the attacks and found no truth to them.
Despite the debunking of the story, Trump continues to assert that he saw a report in the Washington Post that “thousands” of Muslims were dancing, tailgating and having rooftop parties. Joe Scarborough thinks it’s okay for Trump to exaggerate and conflate a handful of people into thousands in order to whip up his base. How can anyone take Scarborough seriously ever again?
Just when you think Trump can stoop no lower, he finds a whole new level of repugnant. Making fun of a disabled person is obnoxious but, apparently, something Trump is willing to do if it riles his supporters. What kind of ugliness is in the souls of people who support this troll?
Here’s the video from Morning Joe via Media Matters:
Featured image via Gage Skidmore via Flickr