This is an older post from January 12th, 2017…but I believe this story still holds weight to show what kind of human, that Donald Trump really is.
There are many people who do not believe that President-Elect Trump was mocking a disabled person. There are several videos out there trying to dispel that as rumor, and this really hurts and worries me. If you’d like to know why, my long list of reasons and references are listed below.
In response to an animated GIF, my friend, Frederick posted. Someone responded with this video as proof that is was a lie.
Now I would love for you to be able to watch this video but only a few months after it was made…it has already been taken down and it appears that the account has been deleted.
Here is the GIF in question.
There are few things here that are really disturbing to me.
The first thing is that a third party (the video creator) had to find precedent of Trump using those hand gestures. Why would that not be in the speech that he gave rebuking the claims against him? The closest thing to setting that gesture as a precedent is saying that his actions were “being expressive”. Why wouldn’t you use those other times to show that you “do that gesture all the time”? Isn’t the first gut reaction to counter a claim is to show historical proof that this isn’t the first instance? It would if I were in that position, and if you’re going to claim that he might not remember…well he claims to have “a great memory”.
The second thing that I have an issue with is that he said he was trying to show that the disabled reporter was “groveling”, trying to “take it (his words) back”.
So let’s look at that. What is groveling. The first two definitions of “grovel”, according to dictionary.com are as follows. One, “to humble oneself or act in an abject manner, as in great fear or utter servility.” Two, “to lie or crawl with the face downward and the body prostrate, especially in abject humility, fear, etc.” Now given those definitions, and the general idea of what groveling looks like (by using the first couple image search results on Google, does his gestures make anyone, honestly believe, that he is demonstrating the act of groveling and not mocking. I’m not even saying mocking the handicap of the reporter, just mocking another human being?
[ Google Image Link for reference http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=grovel ]
Number three, if you watch his full rebuttal video he does two things toward the end. First he stops apologizing and starts placing blame on others. His first attack is to attempt to discredit the news media, and not just any news, but the New York Times and CNN. Those are two of the highest regarded news outlets in the U.S. This has been said in other places, and has also been a big story on the “Donald Trump’s first press conference as president-elect” controversy. Mr. Trump has consistently used his platform to dissuade people from trusting ANY news, not just CNN and the New York Times, but almost all news outlets. This is scary. If you don’t know why or don’t believe that this is frightening, then you need to go back and read up on your history. Discrediting the News is the first steps toward a dictatorship.
For those reasons, I believe that he did mock a disabled person for their disability and he is trying to discredit the news so that people stop believing what is reported and are more susceptible to believing what Mr. Trump says, no matter how ridiculous or egregious his words may be. You don’t have to believe me, you don’t have to agree with me, but please do not attack myself or my friends for what we see as truth simply because you cannot, and will not see it for yourself. Thank you.
Links to my sources are as follows.
Here is a link to the full rebuttal speech if you don’t believe me…
Here is a direct link to the part in that video to where is claims to not know the reporter even though he has “a great memory”.
Here is the link to January 11th’s press conference where he attacked CNN as “fake news” again. This link skips directly to the part I was referencing.
This is a continuation of my original post this morning. These posts have no been written quickly. I have done my best to address as many points and views as possible and to provide sources as often as possible.
I was going to go through the video that a commenter posted above as “proof against my claim”, and walk through step by step and research each point to confirm or deny each claim presented, but it seems that Snopes has already done a large part of the hard work for me.
Sources for the commenter’s videos (and related documents) are located at the bottom of this essay.
Link to the Snopes.com Article
“Donald Trump Criticized for Mocking Disabled Reporter”
And here is a Snopes.com article on
“Trump Insists He Witnessed Cheering Muslims on 9/11”
Something that was not addressed by the articles that I have linked above is that at one point in the document/video (they are essentially the same), they say “Soon thereafter, the media revealed still photos of Kovaleski with his right hand in a permanently flexed position downward announcing that he was disabled.” Now what this is claiming is that Kovaleski created his medical condition after his initial meetings and interviews with Donald Trump to create sympathy for himself. Serge Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a condition which limits the movement of joints and is particularly noticeable in Kovaleski’s right arm and hand.
So after some research on my part, this is a congenital birth defect and not a disease. That means that this reporter could not have suddenly contracted this within the allotted time frame stated by this video. The only other option, for this claim to be true, then would be for the reporter to be “faking” this condition. In every picture I can find of him, his arm looks very similar or exactly the same. It is disfigured and contorted in the same exact way which would be very difficult to consciously be aware of on a constant basis. For the sake of the argument presented by the video, let’s say that he was faking the hand posture. That does nothing to explain the significant bone and musculature loss in the hand of a person that cannot use it. If you look at anyone with a long standing physical disability that prohibits the use of a particular limb, you with find that in almost every case that they will have significant bone and musculature loss in that limb. It is caused by not using it for years. There is no need for the body to build muscles for a limb that does not move, and so it doesn’t. The muscles atrophy. Upon looking at any photo old or new of Kovaleski’s right arm and hand, you can see that it has significant muscle atrophy. Now if it to be believed that he is “faking” then, it seems to reason that, he would have had to go through extensive cosmetic surgery to make his hand and arm appear that way. Do you believe that anyone is willing to permanently disfigure themselves to make someone else look bad in the press?
To continue this accusation the video states “To show the depths of the deceit, one CNN reporter explained, while displaying a still photo of him, that Kovaleski, “suffers from a chronic condition that impairs movement of his arms.” Again, the implication is that Kovaleski can’t control his arms from moving.” Now when some says that the movement is impaired, my brain DOES NOT immediately think that means that means that movement cannot be controlled. The Dictionary.com definitions of Impaired are one, “weakened, diminished, or damaged” and two “functioning poorly or inadequately”. Neither of those definitions mean “uncontrolled” or “spasmodic”. So this part is implying that a quote is meaning something that is clearly does not mean.
So the other thing that this argument is meant to imply is that because Mr. Trump reacted in a more animated fashion, that means he clearly wasn’t making fun of Serge’s disability because he does not move in a spasmodic fashion. So whether or not you choose to agree that Trump was mocking Kovaleski’s physical disability, you do have to agree that he was mocking Kovaleski “in general”. He has admitted to as much.
So let’s look at the defnition of “mock”, “to attack or treat with ridicule, contempt, or derision”, “to ridicule by mimicry of action or speech; mimic derisively” and “to mimic, imitate, or counterfeit” are the first three definitions (once again on Dictionary.com). Now what this means is that to mock someone, it is common to mimic them in a derisive manner. Meaning that if you are poking fun at someone, you would often take a specific characteristic of that person and make fun of it, usually by over-exaggerating the flaw that you are pointing out. So to say that Trump’s magnified movements were not mocking Kovaleski’s disability because it was not exactly the same as the original disability is not a valid argument because it goes directly against the definition of the thing you are arguing for.
The last part of the video is not about the subject at hand, it is about referencing other times that Trump has NOT made fun of the disabled. It is referencing times that Trump has, indeed, helped the disabled. This is not applicable to the argument at hand and is an attempt to persuade the viewer into believing that Trump could not possibly do anything mean towards the disabled. This is what’s called the “Correlation Implies Causation Fallacy”. Basically this part is saying that Donald Trump has been nice to hundreds of disabled persons throughout the years, so it’s impossible for him to be mean to one. It is not a valid argument.
I have one final point, and that is that even if (and it’s a big if) Trump does use this hand gesture on more than one occasion to imply frustration, being flustered, or groveling, maybe he should be consciously aware of his mannerisms and not do particular ones to demonstrate the behaviors of someone that he has to have known, has a physical disability.
Here is a link to the video shared by the commenter.
and another copy on a different YouTube channel
Looks like this “source” video has also been taken down and it’s account has been deleted.
Here is a link to the original webpage that the video is referencing for gathering it’s “information”.
And this Document uses several sources for it’s “information”. Here are a few if you would like to see what they have to say.