J.K. Rowling found herself in hot water this weekend after the Harry Potter author falsely accused Donald Trump of ignoring a wheelchair-bound boy’s outstretched hand. Rowling made the controversial series of tweets after watching a misleadingly edited video of Trump at a press conference on health care reform. In the edited video, Trump appeared to ignore the handshake of 3-year-old Monty Weer, who suffers from spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal cord does not fully form.
In a series of posts on Twitter on Friday, Rowling retweeted the doctored video and castigated Trump for “[pretending] not to see a child in a wheelchair, as though frightened he might catch his condition.” Rowling added that she was particularly sensitive to the way people treat the disabled because her own mother had also used a wheelchair. “I witnessed people uncomfortable around her disability, but if they had a shred of decency they got over it,” she wrote. “So, yes, that clip of Trump looking deliberately over a disabled child’s head, ignoring his outstretched hand, has touched me on the raw.”
Trump, she noted, already had a bad track record when it came to such issues, given that he had appeared to publicly mock a New York Times reporter’s disability in January.
A number of users took to Twitter to correct Rowling, including a gleeful Piers Morgan, pointing out that the unedited video in fact showed Trump crouching down to shake the boy’s hand. Rowling has since deleted her tweets, and on Monday offered an apology to the boy and his family.
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