Video appears to show Trump mocking the physical condition of a reporter during a South Carolina rally

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Donald Trump Mocks a Reporter With a Disability

On Tuesday night at a rally in South Carolina, Donald Trump doubled down on his claim that people in New Jersey cheered after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The real-estate mogul also appeared to mock a journalist for hedging on an earlier report that Trump says corroborates his claim.

Former Washington Post reporter Serge Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a condition which limits the mobility of his arms -- a condition Trump seemed to emulate by awkwardly gesticulating while pretending to quote the reporter, as first noted by Ben Schreckinger at Politico.

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Video appears to show Trump mocking the physical condition of a reporter during a South Carolina rally
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
The crowd gathered in the Birmingham civic center as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Ethan Diven, an aeronautical engineering student from Tuscaloosa, Ala, wears a Reagan-Bush cap as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with Marine Jason Perkins after he sand the National Anthem during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Fans try to get an autograph after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Supporters show off their presidential pins for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before he speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a campaign button after speaking at a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Fans try to get an autograph after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Tina Parker, of Muscle Shoals, Ala, holds her Trump button before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
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The crowd surges to greet Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after he speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
The crowd surges to greet Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after he speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
A protester is removed by security as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Trump supporters 'boo' the media after a heckler was removed as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
A protester is removed by security as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Fans show support as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Fans show support as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Pete Dobbs, of Huntsville, talks to Trump supporters before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
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Fans try to get an autograph after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Fans try to get an autograph after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up his book 'The Art of the Deal', given to him by a fan as he speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)
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While Trump's campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, would not comment on the record to The Post about the incident, a campaign official told the paper that Trump was "not aware of any condition and was not mocking his physical appearance in any way."

But Kovaleski told The Post that he is confident that Trump remembers him and his condition. Kovaleski met with Trump several times when the reporter was covering Trump while working at the New York Daily News from 1987 to 1993.

"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," Kovaleski told The Post.

The New York Times, where Kovaleski is currently a reporter, also had a response to the incident: "We think it's outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters," a Times spokeswoman told Politico and confirmed to Business Insider.

During his rally speech, Trump pointed again to a September 18, 2001, report from The Washington Post, written by Kovaleski and Fredrick Kunkle.

The report, Trump said, was "written by a nice reporter. Now the poor guy -- you gotta see this guy. 'Uh, I don't know what I said. Uh, I don't remember!' He's going like, 'I don't remember. Uh, maybe that's what I said.' This is 14 years ago, he's still -- they didn't do a retraction!"

In his speech, Trump went on to quote a paragraph from the original report.

"Now, that's The Washington Post. Folks, they do nothing for me, they hate my guys, OK? They don't get it," Trump said, before moving off the topic.

The Washington Post has already responded to Trump's use of the 2001 story as a source for his claims. Kovaleski told The Post: "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."

Kunkle added to Kovaleski's remarks: "I specifically visited the Jersey City building and neighborhood where the celebrations were purported to have happened. But I could never verify that report."

While Kovaleski did not comment to Business Insider for this story, he did reference coverage of the incident on Twitter and retweeted a link to a petition by Daily Beast reporter Gideon Resnick calling for Trump to apologize.

Regarding the petition, Resnick told Business Insider that the imitation bothered him: "[T]here's no way to address this besides either acknowledging that it was open mocking and/or deciding to apologize for it. I don't know Mr. Kovaleski personally, but I think it's important to hold our serious contenders for public office responsible for their behavior."

Following coverage of the incident and statement by The New York Times, Trump began tweeting about the paper:

The failing @nytimes should be focused on good reporting and the papers financial survival and not with constant hits on Donald Trump!

Business Insider has reached out to the Trump campaign and The Washington Post for comment and will update if new information becomes available.

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Presidential candidates marching in July Fourth parades
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Video appears to show Trump mocking the physical condition of a reporter during a South Carolina rally
GORHAM, NH - JULY 4: Democratic presidental candidate Hillary Clinton marches in the Gorham fourth of July parade July 4, 2015 in Gorham, New Hampshire. Clinton is on a two day swing through the first in the nation primary state over the fourth of July holiday.(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
GORHAM, NH - JULY 4: Democratic presidental candidate Hillary Clinton marches in the Gorham fourth of July parade July 4, 2015 in Gorham, New Hampshire. Clinton is on a two day swing through the first in the nation primary state over the fourth of July holiday.(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
GORHAM, NH - JULY 4: Democratic presidental candidate Hillary Clinton marches in the Gorham fourth of July parade July 4, 2015 in Gorham, New Hampshire. Clinton is on a two day swing through the first in the nation primary state over the fourth of July holiday.(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
GORHAM, NH - JULY 4: Democratic presidental candidate Hillary Clinton marches in the Gorham fourth of July parade July 4, 2015 in Gorham, New Hampshire. Clinton is on a two day swing through the first in the nation primary state over the fourth of July holiday.(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
MERRIMACK, NH - JULY 4: Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush greets supporters at the 4th of July Parade in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Bush is a front-runner in the polls for the 2016 presidential race with 14 other republican candidates. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
MERRIMACK, NH - JULY 4: Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush greets supporters at the 4th of July Parade in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Bush is a front-runner in the polls for the 2016 presidential race with 14 other republican candidates. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
AMHERST, NH - JULY 4: Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush greets supporters at the 4th of July Parade on July 4, 2015 in Amherst, New Hampshire. Bush is a front-runner in the polls for the 2016 presidential race with 14 other republican candidates. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
AMHERST, NH - JULY 4: Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush greets supporters at the 4th of July Parade on July 4, 2015 in Amherst, New Hampshire. Bush is a front-runner in the polls for the 2016 presidential race with 14 other republican candidates. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, is handed a flower while participating in the Fourth of July parade festivities in Amherst, N.H., Saturday, July 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
Republican presidential candidate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, with his volunteers before the start of the Fourth of July Parade in Amherst, N.H., Saturday, July 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
Republican presidential candidate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, is handed a flower while participating in the Fourth of July parade festivities in Amherst, N.H., Saturday, July 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
Republican presidential candidate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, shakes hands while walking in the Fourth of July Parade in Amherst, N.H., Saturday, July 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, shakes hands while participating in the Fourth of July Parade festivities in Amherst, N.H., Saturday, July 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., shakes hands with Beverly Bruce, Romney's New Hampshire finance chairwoman in 2012, as they talk with 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann, at the end of the the Fourth of July parade, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., right, laughs as he is joined by his family including his wife Jeanette Dousdebes, and their children as they talk with 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann, at the end of the the Fourth of July parade, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., smiles as he greets his supporters as he arrives to the staging area for the Fourth of July parade, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shakes hands with a supporter as he walks in a Fourth of July parade with his wife wife Mary Pat, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie consoles a man dressed in a moose costume on a warm summer day after having his photo taken with him and before the start of the Fourth of July parade, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as Mary Pat Christie talks with Ann Romney during the Fourth of July parade, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
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