One day after he was removed from a Donald Trump rally, a 12-year-old boy who has cerebral palsy met with the president.
J.J. Holmes and his mother, Alison, stopped by a Saturday Trump event in Tampa to protest the Republican nominee’s treatment of the disabled. After chanting Hillary Clinton’s name, Trump ordered them out of the rally and his supporters turned on them.
“The crowd started chanting ‘U-S-A’ and pushing his wheelchair,” Alison Holmes told the Washington Post. “We were put out by security. Mr. Trump kept saying, ‘Get them out.’ “
“I hate Donald Trump,” J.J. piped up, speaking through a computer vocalization device. “I hate Donald Trump.”
A woman who witnessed the incident asked for help in arranging a meeting between J.J. and President Barack Obama, who stumped for Clinton Sunday in nearby Kissimmee.
According to the White House pool report, Obama met briefly with the young Clinton supporter after his speech and shook his hand.
Yesterday, this young man was kicked out of a Trump rally. As he was leaving, people kicked at his wheelchair. Today, he met his President. pic.twitter.com/VI4g2tKANG
— Steve Schale (@steveschale) November 6, 2016
Trump made headlines last fall for imitating New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, a condition that reduces his arm’s range of motion.
The Republican nominee has insisted he was not mocking Kovaleski’s disability. He also said the “millions and millions” he spent to make his buildings handicapped accessible prove that he cares about the disabled, though he is required to do so by federal law.