Media Exposed: Donald Trump Did Not Make Fun of a Disabled Reporter!

I have a personal email account through a well-known left-leaning Company.  During the second week of August, I logged in to check my email and saw an article stating that voters number one object to Donald Trump had to do with his making fun of a reporter with a disability.

I was both shocked and amazed that this was still an issue.  Why? Because, in reality, it never happened.

The whole saga began on November 21, 2015, when Donald Trump stated that he remembered seeing Arabs living in this country celebrating the 9/11 attacks cheering as the Twin Towers came crashing down.

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He said, and I quote, “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down.  And I watched in Jersey City, NJ when thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down…thousands of people were cheering.”

A few days later Trump was interviewed by Former Clinton communication’s director and DNC operative, George Stephanopoulos, who now works as the Chief Political Correspondent for ABC News.  Trump left out the thousands and thousands remark, but doubled down on his statement saying,

“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering…as that building came down. And that tells you something…”

Now the media, especially the Washington Post, went after Trump with a vengeance claiming that this was not true. Trump, they inferred, was either making it up, or he was delusional.

The same paper, “…even went so far as to write a detailed article claiming to ‘fact check’ Mr. Trump. After an exhaustive review, the Post lectured that there was absolutely no evidence of Trump’s claim and deemed it false.” —

But Mr. Trump was neither wrong nor delusional.  Eventually, a video from a local CBS affiliate surfaced which had been broadcast just five days after the 9/11 attack in which the news anchor said this:

Surely, this discovery was a slap in the face to the media which had ridiculed Donald Trump for saying Arabs were seen celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

But as if to make matters worse, especially for the Washington Post, who claimed to have “fact checked” Trump’s statement, an article by one of their own reporters, Serge Kovaleski, came to light.  Kovaleski, writing for the Post on September 18, 2001, stated, and I quote,

“In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, 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 on the other side of the river.”

With egg dripping off their faces, the Post had to do something. writes,

“Very embarrassing for the media, especially the Washington Post which had done such a great job scouring news reports after 9/11 that they missed their very own story on the subject. It was in this state of embarrassment that the media was desperate to distract from the matter. The Washington Post ended up finding Kovaleski, now writing for the New York Times so that he could do damage control. Kovaleski predictably tried to backtrack from his 2001 account saying he didn’t remember the details…” ibid.

So the now embarrassed Washington Post had Kovaleski release a statement in which Kovaleski said,

“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.”

In an attempt to deflect the truth that there were people celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers, the Post attempted to bring into question the numbers engaged in this barbaric activity.  But it wasn’t working.  They needed to find something else, anything to deflect attention away from the sloppy research their fact checkers did.

A few days later, when Trump was at a rally in South Carolina, he commented on Kovaleski’s attempt to backtrack his 2001 statement.  He did this by moving his hands in a manner which showed someone flustered.

The irony is that Trump had used the exact same visual arm movements when describing others who, when put on the spot, were flustered.  He did this in reference to Ted Cruz when he was explaining his position on waterboarding.

And though not as extreme, he did the same arm movements when he commented on an Army General, who, according to Trump, did a poor job answering a question about ISIS.

As if you need to be told, neither of these men has a disability.  Therefore, since they don’t have a disability and Kovaleski does, and Trump did the same arm movements for all three, then it must follow that he was not making fun of a disability, rather, he was giving a visual for something else.

But the dishonest, left-leaning media doesn’t care about truth.  As stated previously, they needed a distraction from the fact that their fact checkers were wrong about Arab’s celebrating after the 9/11 attacks.  But how? How could they take the spotlight off themselves and redirect it back to Trump? explains how, and by so doing, they hit the nail on its proverbial head.

“Soon thereafter, the media revealed still photos of Kovaleski with his right hand in a permanently flexed position downward announcing that he was disabled. The media then shifted from trying to defend their oversight of the 9/11 Post article and instead, with disapproving shocked outrage, accused Trump of mocking a reporter’s disability. Some liberals went even further and freeze-framed a millisecond of the Trump video at the exact moment when his hand went into a flexed posture. Then they dishonestly put this screen capture side by side with a picture of Kovaleski’s flexed hand. Thus, you saw the following photo spread like wildfire over social media with commentary condescendingly and horrifyingly excoriating Trump as a monster.” —

Trump, according to the egged-faced media, was mocking the way Kovaleski moves his arms.  But what you probably don’t know, what the media never showed you, was Mr. Kovaleski’s arm doesn’t move when he speaks.  In fact, it doesn’t move the way Trump showed someone flustered at all, as is evident from the video below.

In fact, Kovaleski’s condition restricts the movement of his arm.  It doesn’t cause spasms or uncontrolled arm movements.

One could argue that if Trump had wanted to mock the back-peddling reporter for his disability, he should have stood completely still.

As the false and concocted story gained steam, Trump was asked if he remembered the reporter.  He said he didn’t, and therefore had no knowledge that the reporter was a handicap.

But Mr. Kovaleski, according to Newsmax, an outfit which partners with the “always truthful” New York Times on its Politifact stories stated, “…Kovaleski said he and Trump knew each other well because the reporter regularly covered the New York businessman for years. Archived reports support that.” —

But it is interesting that neither Newsmax nor the New York Times in their so-called Politifact story gives a date of the last time Kovaleski interview Trump.

Was it ten years ago or twenty years ago?  Maybe it was last year?  Were all the interviews in person when Kovaleski covered Trump?  If you stick with the two previously mentioned papers, you would never know.

But the Post did give the dates when Kovaleski covered Trump; between 1987-1993.  That was at least twenty-two years ago from the date of the incident.

Surely, no one in their right mind would require Donald Trump, or anyone for that matter, to remember a specific reporter who last interviewed them twenty-two years ago!

Allow me to explain it this way.  I had a friend who met a famous person three times.  My friend loved to brag that he knew this person.  When I had a chance to meet the same famous person, I asked them if they had heard from my friend.  Guess what?  The famous person did not know of whom I was speaking.  Why?  My friend looked up to this person and therefore, remembered everything, every detail from the three times they met.  But the famous person meets hundreds of people a month, and my friend just isn’t that memorable. continues,

“Trump’s impersonations of a flustered reporter…was turned into a left-wing and Establishment GOP narrative whereby Trump somehow hates the disabled. This despite the fact that Trump has given millions to charities that help the disabled including raising nearly six million dollars for Wounded Warriors…a million of which was his own money. In addition, Liz Crokin, a journalist that has covered Donald Trump for ten years recalls the following:

In 1988, a commercial airline refused to fly Andrew Ten, a sick Orthodox Jewish child with a rare illness, across the country to get medical care because he had to travel with an elaborate life-support system. His grief stricken parents contacted Trump for help and he didn’t hesitate to send his own plane to take the child from Los Angeles to New York so he could get his treatment.” —

And this is just one story about Donald Trump helping those who are disabled.

Folks, Donald Trump did not make fun of a reporter with a disability!  He did something worse.  He embarrassed the media, especially the Washington Post, whose crummy fact-checkers failed to uncover the true story of Middle Easterners living in New Jersey celebrating the deaths of 3,000 Americans on 9/11, a story one of their own reporters covered.

As someone who has been around disabled folks my whole life and as one whose wife worked with those who are deemed severe and profound, if I believed that Mr. Trump truly mocked a man with a disability, I would be writing a very different article.

But the sad thing is, there are those who will still perpetrate this lie even when confronted with the facts.

Jerry Johnson would like to thank for putting this timeline together, from which he borrowed heavily.


Jerry Johnson

Jerry Johnson was the former Director of the Apologetics Group and President of Nicene Council. He was the senior writer/researcher for numerous documentaries including the best-selling Amazing Grace: The History & Theology of Calvinism. In the 1990s he served as Executive Director of the Christian Coalition of Hillsborough County Florida. He currently holds an M.A. in Christian Studies and a M. Phil. in Christian Apologetics. He lives with his wife of nearly 30 years and has four children and four grandchildren.

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