Here’s the CNN video. It’s damning enough, but Trump has been able to say anything since he mocked John McCain’s service to the nation which included torture in a North Vietnamese prison. From the New York Times:
In South Carolina, Mr. Trump described Mr. Kovaleski as a “nice guy” before mocking his comments about the article in The Post.
“Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy,” Mr. Trump said, before jerking his arms around and holding his right hand at an angle. “ ‘Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!’ ”
Mr. Kovaleski, who covered Mr. Trump extensively while he was a reporter at The Daily News, has arthrogryposis, which limits the functioning of his joints.
Other news sources have a more lengthy and precise transcript, but the Times’ now employs the veteran reporter, Serge Kovaleski.
In his statement on Thursday, Mr. Trump maintained that he had never met Mr. Kovaleski.
I have no idea who this reporter, Serge Kovalski [sic], is, what he looks like or his level of intelligence,” Mr. Trump said.
“Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him,” he continued. “What I do know is that after 14 years and no retraction, this reporter tried to pull away from the tailgate party paragraph he wrote many years ago for The Washington Post.”
So far, no rightward-leaning media is leaping to Trump’s defense on this one, although the holiday may have kept them inactive. But if they do, they will have to call a respected, veteran reporter a liar:
In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Kovaleski said that he met with Mr. Trump repeatedly when he was a reporter for The Daily News covering the developer’s business career in the late 1980s, before joining The Post. “Donald and I were on a first-name basis for years,” Mr. Kovaleski said. “I’ve interviewed him in his office,” he added. “I’ve talked to him at press conferences. All in all, I would say around a dozen times, I’ve interacted with him as a reporter while I was at The Daily News.”
Kovaleski is clearly a hard news reporter, one which has been employed at three of the biggest daily papers in the country. His bio indicates that he was born in South Africa. Does Kovaleski still have an accent? If so, combined with his unique name, “Serge,” a South African accent from someone you’ve only met a few times would be hard to forget. It’s hard not to believe Kovaleski as it’s clear he’s interacted with Trump in New York for close to 30 years.
So will Trump contact Sid Blumenthal, that notorious Clinton-era smear artist to circulate crap around to destroy a reporter? It was after all, Bill Clinton, who encouraged Trump to get into the republican race. Even Obama was able to take down FOX News as the community of professional media, including print journalists, refused to play along.
As Trump has denied knowing Kovaleski for two days and hasn’t apologized, he’ll have to go after Kovaleski while playing the left-wing media card. The later plays for a while with conservatives until video’s and archives come to the light of day. Both the Daily News and the Washington Post will have stories in which Kovaleski quotes Trump.
Unless, that is, Kovaleski is a liar. And Trump is good at calling people liars. Currently Trump is mocking the media for being offended in inaccurate. It won’t be enough soon enough.