A statement posted on his Twitter account said Trump doesn't know the reporter personally or what he looks like and was only mocking his journalism. The New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski, 'should stop using his disability to grandstand', the statement quoted Trump as saying.

Kovaleski has a congenital condition that affects joint movement. In a speech Tuesday in South Carolina, Trump said, "Poor guy, you oughta see this guy," and gestured in a jerky fashion as if imitating Kovaleski's movements.

Trump was challenging recollections by Kovaleski and many others about the 9/11 aftermath. Trump has made unsubstantiated claims that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey were seen celebrating the attacks.

In 2001, Kovaleski, then with The Washington Post, and another Post journalist wrote a week after the 9/11 attacks about authorities in New Jersey detaining and questioning "a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks."

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