WAS Trump actually mocking that disabled reporter?

Let me just start off by making it clear that I fucking hate Donald Trump and I think he’s a horrendous president in every way. (I also think he legitimately won the election, and that the Democrats dropped the ball, but that’s another debate entirely.) He’s a loathsome individual, petty and narcissistic, and he makes America look like shit to the rest of the world.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I just have to question one specific criticism of him: that he mocked a disabled reporter during a speech. Here is the widely-seen still image of him supposedly doing so.

I’m reminded of this because I still routinely see people posting it on Facebook. I must say that during Trump’s campaign, when this incident surfaced, I had to raise an eyebrow in skepticism despite agreeing with virtually every other criticism leveled against him. It just seemed like, “they’re reaching with this one.”

For one thing, for Trump to be mocking this reporter’s physical properties, presumes that he knew what he looked like in the first place. Is there any evidence that he did?

But more to the point, Trump’s gestures bear little resemblance to the features of the reporter in question. As far as I can tell, this man’s disability is that one of his hands is bent at an angle. That’s it.

Trump’s little “performance”, which we are to believe was an imitation of this man, consisted of basically an exaggerated parody of someone in a state of agitation. He throws his head back and opens his mouth in a look of mock-horror, then waves his hands around. In one STILL CAPTURE of this video, he appears to be bending his hand at the wrist. The bending of the wrist is the only thing that even remotely reflects the appearance of the reporter he’s supposedly mocking, and that bent wrist is only bent in the still frame of the video. In the actual video, he is waving his hands and arms around wildly in a multitude of different positions.

I guess this could be construed as making fun of someone who was epileptic, or had cerebral palsy, or was prone to uncontrollable physical motions in some way. But…the bent wrist…I’m just not seeing it.

Again I just have to reiterate that I’m not trying to absolve Trump of any of the entirely legitimate criticisms of him, but only that this one thing seems like much ado about nothing.

I have exactly the opposite reaction: that the people claiming he DIDN’T mock the reporter have to be twisting themselves in absolute partisan knots not to see it. But I guess there’s no way to know. And yes, I’ve seen the video and not just the still.

Yeah, no, he was definitely mocking the guy. Trump wouldn’t have held his hands that way if he hadn’t been mocking him. He was exaggerating his victim’s mannerisms, and trying to put across that the reporter had a mental disability as well as a physical one.

Since the still image is being stressed so much in the OP, here is a the actual video of the incident in question:


My only question is (and I don’t know this myself), has he ever made these gestures while mocking any other, non-disabled people?

From Serge Kovaleski himself:

Of course Trump was mocking his disability.

I don’t know Serge Kovaleski from a bar of soap, but Trump’s “you should see this guy” and “he’s like” verbiage is clearly an attempt to set up an imitation/impersonation/parody of someone.

If it didn’t end up looking much like the person in question … well, we can just add “doing imitations” to the list of things DJT sucks at.

Whether he was aware of the reporter’s specific disability or not, Trump was making a grand gesture to make the person seem retarded. There is nothing even mildly positive about his little performance. He was mocking the guy even if he didn’t have a disability.

When the kids in middle/high school used to make fun of me for being a “retard”, they would hold their arms to their chests and crane their necks like Damon Wayans used to do in his “Handyman” sketch.

The mockery didn’t resemble my movements at all. However, mockery is always a gross distortion of reality.

At any rate, even if the president wasn’t intending to make fun of a guy’s disability, he’s a colossal dumbass for mocking him in a way looks very similar to how most people would mock someone for having a disability.

I have no objection to that characterization at all. Nobody who would break into a physical pantomime like that, in the middle of a speech, to make fun of somebody else, should be entrusted with the capability to launch nuclear bombs.

Let me just be clear, I had skepticism about whether this specific act was actually a specific caricature of the individual in question, but leaving this aside, one of the things I hate the most about Trump is just how fucking much he insults other people. I don’t mean in some abstract sense, I mean literally calling out other people by name and then calling them elementary-school-level names. It’s surreal that we have a president who does this constantly. I fucking hate it. It makes me cringe every goddamn time.

That’s exactly the way it struck me-- something kids would do. I was dumbfounded by it, and usually nothing DJT does shocks me.

And yeah, he was totally making fun of the guy. Shmok.

Judge for yourself. Did Trump really mock reporter's disability? - YouTube

I personally could not care less one way or another. Maybe I’m a bad person for that. My cat loves me; at least in whatever way cats love people.

If your cat could text you, he still wouldn’t.

Why are you assuming my cat’s gender?

Exactly this. He’s a crass bully, and “schoolyard insults” is one of his default settings.

Yeah, I hate Trump more than the next guy but after watching this video some time ago, it’s clear that he has a go to “flustered guy” thing. Maybe the “flustered guy” schtick is based on classic schoolyard “retarded guy” mannerisms, but I think it’s more likely that he’s just trying to act confused. Maybe he was making fun of the reporters’ disability, but I given the context of “not remembering” I think it’s more likely that he was just pulling out an extended version of the “flustered guy” routine.

In any case, the people who constantly repeat as fact that Trump was mocking a disabled person in the hopes that it becomes true disappoint me. There’s plenty of things Trump has said and done that are more clear cut, and don’t give his defenders an out. Plenty. So many. Why insist on this one?

Definitely mocking the reporter. Whether he was specifically mocking the reporter’s disability (which remains my view) or merely engaging in more generic childish insults, it was immature, dickish behavior for a man running for one of the most powerful political positions in the world.

And the people determined to split hairs to absolve Trump of a specific act when the alternative interpretation is hardly any improvement disappoint me. Trump remains an asshole either way.

Look at it this way…

The preponderance of evidence clearly shows that Trump has said and done many clearly offensive things (which he and his supporters later denied or excused). Why give him the benefit of the doubt on this one?

Because it’s the right thing to do in the interest of fighting ignorance.

Because if you rattle off 10 offensive things that Trump has done and there’s 1 thing that his supporters/defenders/apologists can argue against in good faith, as I believe they can here, then it serves as a distraction from the other 9.

Because I don’t want my political/debate opponents to be able to use the same tactic when attacking “my guy.”


If your 10 year old son did this same sort of pantomime when talking about a disabled student at his school, would you give him a pass?

If you won’t give your 10 year old son a pass, why would you give our 70 year old dipshit president a pass? It’s 100% clear he is mocking the disabled reporter. There is no doubt at all.

I submit that if ‘your guy’ is even half as deplorable as Trump, he deserves to be attacked.

The point remains. Trump was, is, and always will be an asshole and however you choose to interpret his pantomime, I challenge you to paint it as anything other than disgusting and disqualifying for the office of POTUS.