Moral Low Ground

Society

Trump Lies: President-Elect Denies Mocking Disabled Reporter After Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe Speech

After an emotional Golden Globe Awards speech in which Meryl Streep took Donald Trump to task for mocking a disabled reporter, the US president-elect fired back, calling the renowned actress “overrated” and a “flunky” and denying he ever mocked the man.

Variety reports Streep, 67, was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the 74th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills. Without ever saying Trump’s name, Streep lambasted the billionaire businessman for demonizing Hollywood, immigrants and the news media.

“You and all of us in this room belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners, and the press,” Streep said to uproarious applause. “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if you kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

Streep then said the “performance” that most stunned her last year was when Trump mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from the congenital joint disorder arthrogryposis, while campaigning in South Carolina.

“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter — someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life,” Streep said, her voice cracking with emotion. “And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

Trump slammed Streep Monday morning, tweeting, “Meryl Streep, one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big.” Trump’s tweets also denied he ever mocked Kovaleski — despite video showing him clearly doing so, an assertion he doubled down on in an interview with the New York Times.

“I was never mocking anyone,” Trump emphatically stated. “I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story.” Trump claims Kovaleski has attempted to distance himself from a Washington Post article he published after the 9/11 terrorist attacks claiming authorities had detained “a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks.” Trump, who sparked great controversy with his campaign pledge to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, cited the article as proof of his spurious claim that he had watched while “thousands and thousands of people” cheered the 9/11 attacks while watching the twin towers of the World Trade Center burn and collapse. The only people arrested after being seen allegedly cheering on September 11, 2001 were a group of Israelis, some of whom later filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the United States claiming they had been tortured during interrogation.

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