Trump found Paralympics ‘tough to watch’
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has come under fire for bizarre comments he made in a speech at an event with Team USA Olympians and Paralympians.
The comments came as the President was congratulating the elite athletes - who participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang last month and visited the White House overnight.
Footage from the event shows Mr Trump, who infamously mocked a disabled journalist on the campaign trail, begin by flattering the team with compliments.
"When you win a gold medal, you know it's a good team," he said as he called Olympians up to "say a few words".
Full quote on the Paralympics section I quoted from above: "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." pic.twitter.com/NijkzVpZoG— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) April 27, 2018
"Do we have any quitters here?" he then asked. "Because if so, I was gonna say, 'Get the hell out!'"
The speech then took an unexpected turn, with footage showing Mr Trump saying he had a "tough" time watching American Paralympians compete in South Korea.
"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," he said.
Mr Trump's comments immediately came under scrutiny on social media - where hundreds of commenters have reacted angrily.
"Imagine losing your legs then fighting your way to the top of a new sport only to be INSULTED by the President of the United States," musician Mikel Jollett tweeted.
TRUMP (talking about Paralympians): It's a little tough to watch, but I watched as much as I could.— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) April 27, 2018
Imagine losing your legs then fighting your way to the top of a new sport only to be INSULTED by the President of the United States.pic.twitter.com/algPdZL4Sb
Trump was widely slammed after he made fun of Serge Kovaleski, a New York Times reporter who has arthrogryposis, a condition causing contractures in his right arm and hand.
"You've got to see this guy: 'Uhh, I don't know what I said. Uhh, I don't remember,' he's going like, 'I don't remember. Maybe that's what I said,'" Trump said during a campaign rally in South Carolina on Nov. 24, 2015, twisting his right arm and hand in a way seemingly meant to mimic Mr Kovaleski's disability.
The US brought home 13 gold medals and 36 medals at the 2018 Paralympics, more than any other country.
It is standard for the White House to honour Olympians and Paralympians after the games, however fewer athletes attended this year's event than when President Obama held the same event in 2014.
According to USA Today, only 150 athletes attended Trump's ceremony while in 2014 about 200 attended Obama's event.