Trump Says the Paralympics Were 'Tough' to Watch
On Friday, President Trump welcomed Team USA representatives for the Olympics and Paralympics to the White House. Trump congratulated both teams for their successes, but one comment about the Paralympics being “tough” to watch has some people wondering what the President meant.
So today, on behalf of the United States, I want to thank every Olympian and Paralympian. And what as just incredible. And what happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me. And I watched — it’s a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could. It was really fantastic, and I want to thank you.
WATCH: During an event with Team USA Olympians and Paralympians at the White House, President Trump said, "What happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me. And I watched — it's a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could." pic.twitter.com/geYUUu9vmg
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) April 27, 2018
People on Twitter condemned the President’s comment, highlighting the athletic prowess of the Paralympic athletes and the ableism underlying the idea that accomplishing something as a person with a disability makes you an “inspiration.”
@realDonaldTrump hit a new low today. What a horrible thing to say to Paralympics medalists at the @WhiteHouse! He managed to make a ceremony honoring these athletes all about him & his revulsion over watching them compete. https://t.co/mbssD7gD1L
— Michele Martindill (@Docsociology4) April 27, 2018
Trump, who openly mocked a disabled reporter during his campaign, said today he finds the Paralympics “tough to watch.” Has there ever been a President who so openly disdained disabled people? https://t.co/YykfShQ4KW pic.twitter.com/0jVbmpbmEQ
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) April 27, 2018
Listen, I am sure Trump meant nothing negative with the "hard to watch" Paralympics comment. He has a solid record on this issue. pic.twitter.com/y7mUcUk9fw
— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) April 27, 2018
Your comment that the Paralympics were “tough to watch” is one of the most vile and disgusting things I have ever heard. I hope @TeamUSA will call you out for your horrible disrespect. American paralympians are examples of America at its finest; you, at its worst.
— Steve0296 (@steve0296) April 27, 2018
One of the points of the Paralympics is those athletes are proving they achieve physical feats abled-people like Trump will never be able to. Yet Trump can’t help himself but focus on their limitations.
— Vivian Vacca (@ViviVacca) April 27, 2018
He’s all heart. This is the guy who always talks about war without realizing how it tears soldiers limbs off their bodies. And he has a hard time watching the Paralympics. Stunning. https://t.co/48RMRYhxDp
— ???????????????? ???????????????????????????? (@Doug_Bratman) April 27, 2018
Always tough to watch #disabled people excel when you spend so much of your capital–and I do mean capital–undermining the lives of disabled people and making it difficult for them to survive in America.#CripTheVote https://t.co/5fwac8zBUR
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) April 27, 2018
— Brian R Campbell (@campbellbrianr) April 27, 2018
Got called a "divisive troll" for pointing out that Trump making a crappy comment about Paralympians is symptomatic of a bigger problem – most Americans don't know there *is* a Paralympics because we get no exposure. Hey disabled community? This is why we can't have nice things.
— seanchaibeag (@seanchaibeag) April 27, 2018
Others wanted a better explanation of why it was “tough” to watch.
What was up with saying that the paralympics were hard to watch for very long? I would like an explanation, please, from a @Potus.
— Teddi Fish ????#OpBlueWave????#FBR????#IFollowBack ???? (@Teddifish) April 27, 2018
— ????JJ???? (@JJBlood_) April 27, 2018
— JudyK (@portside27) April 27, 2018
This is not the first time Trump has been accused of prejudice against people with disabilities. In 2015, Trump came under fire for publicly mocking Serge Kovaleski, a reporter with a disability. The Trump administration has also pushed for changes to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act — such as lifetime caps and work requirements — that would hurt the disability community.