In 2015 Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter, Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from a congenital joint condition at a rally in South Carolina.
"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 was referring to a 2001 article by Kovaleski published in the Washington Post to back up a widely disputed claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks. A New York Times spokeswoman said that it's ridiculous that he mimics their reporter.
The original Washington Post article by Kovaleski said that authorities in Jersey City "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 on the other side of the river ." Since Trump's claims about Muslim Americans celebrating 9/11, the reporter has said he does "not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people, celebrating."
Subsequently, Trump denied that he had made fun of Kovaleski’s disability or would even recognize him.“I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago,” Trump wrote on social media. “If Mr. Kovaleski is handicapped, I would not know because I do not know what he looks like. If I did know, I would definitely not say anything about his appearance.”
The mayor of Jersey City said that Trump's claims were wrong. The Washington Post reported that Trump knows the reporter and his physical condition very well since he reported on Trump between 1987 and 1993.