The photos above show what a compulsive liar Donald Trump is.
On the left is Serge Kovaleski, a prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. He suffers from a disease known as arthrogryposis, a rare muscle disorder which makes it difficult to flex the muscles and to stretch affected limbs, and which can impact over 80 per cent of the body. It often causes limbs to be distorted and twisted.
On the right is a screen grab from the video of a campaign speech made by Donald Trump, during which the President-elect ridicules and mocks Kovaleski over a dispute between them over claims from Trump that he had seen ‘thousands’ of people celebrating the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers on rooftops in Jersey City, a place with a large Arab-American population.
The incident was at the centre of a critical speech made by actress Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe awards in Hollywood on Sunday night, during which she castigated Trump, whom she didn’t name, for his assault on Kovalesky:
….there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head….
In a series of Tweets calling the Hollywood star ‘over-rated’ and a ‘Hillary flunky’, Trump specifically denied that he had mocked Serge Kovalesky:
The photos above, and the video below, contradict Trump. The photo shows Trump imitating Kovaleski’s disability almost exactly. Below the video is an explanation from Wikipedia of the dispute between them.
After candidate Donald J. Trump’s assertion (made in a speech delivered on November 21, 2015) that
“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down, thousands of people were cheering, so something is going on. We got to find out what it is. I do want surveillance”
was met with widespread disbelief, the Trump campaign pointed to Kovaleski’s September 18, 2001 report for the Washington Post (co-authored with Fredrick Kunkle) that “law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation” as substantiation of the claim.
Kovaleski issued the following written statement in response to the Trump campaign’s adoption of his report as factual basis for their candidate’s assertion that thousands of Muslims in the U.S. publicly celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center, a claim Trump has used to support his call for the surveillance of mosques and the establishment of a registry for U.S. Muslims: “I certainly do not remember anyone saying that thousands or even hundreds of people were celebrating. That was not the case, as best as I can remember.”
This statement by Kovaleski prompted Trump to remark in a November 25, 2015 speech given in South Carolina, “You’ve got to see this guy: ‘Uhh, I don’t know what I said. Uhh, I don’t remember,’ he’s going like ‘I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said.'” Trump bent his wrist severely and flailed his arms repeatedly as he spoke giving many viewers the impression that his intent was not only to ridicule the reporter’s words but also to mock the physical appearance of Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis.
Trump later stated that he could not have been mocking Kovaleski’s disability because he did not know what Kovaleski looked like. Kovaleski responded by claiming that he had been on a first-name basis with Trump and had had perhaps a dozen face-to-face encounters with him, including interviews and press conferences, while reporting on Trump for the New York Daily News.