Responding to criticism over remarks he made on Tuesday, Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate and real estate developer, denied on Thursday that he was mocking the appearance of a reporter for The New York Times with a physical disability.
Mr. Trump, who insisted that he had never met the reporter, Serge F. Kovaleski, issued the statement over Twitter one day after news media reports that he had imitated the reporter during a rally in South Carolina. Mr. Trump described Mr. Kovaleski as trying to back away from a story he wrote in September 2001 while he was working for The Washington Post. The candidate used the article to try to justify his widely debunked claims that there were "thousands and thousands" of people "cheering" the fall of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In South Carolina, Mr. Trump described Mr. Kovaleski as a "nice guy" before mocking his comments about the article in The Post.
Donald J. Trump at a rally Tuesday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina.