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US Presidential candidate Trump mocks disabled reporter

By Tim Walker

The US reality TV star and Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump stoked controversy yet again this week when he mocked a journalist with a chronic congenital condition during a campaign rally in South Carolina.

The real estate mogul flailed his arms stiffly as he imitated Serge Kovaleski, a New York Times reporter who suffers from arthrogryposis, which limits joint movement.

Mr Kovaleski had provoked Trump's ire by disputing his claim to have witnessed "thousands" of Arab-Americans in New Jersey cheering as the World Trade Center crumbled on September 11, 2001 - a long-discredited conspiracy theory for which Mr Trump failed to present a scrap of evidence.

"The sad part about it is, it didn't in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record," Mr Kovaleski said.

Last weekend Mr Trump appeared to applaud his own supporters as they assaulted a Black Lives Matter activist during one of his campaign appearances. He subsequently appeared to tweet a set of false crime statistics suggesting 81% of white murder victims were killed by black people; it was left to Bill O'Reilly of Fox News to tell him that the figures were incorrect.

This week Mr Trump warned that President Barack Obama intends to allow 250,000 Syrian refugees to enter the US next year; the actual figure is 10,000. He called for the resumption of waterboarding to combat Isis and said he would support the establishment of a database to register Muslims in the US.

Despite criticism Mr Trump remains well ahead of his fellow Republican contenders in recent national polls - a survey this week put his support at 33%, 10 points clear of his closest rival.

Belfast Telegraph


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