- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2017

Author J.K. Rowling is under fire for refusing to correct a false claim that President Trump ignored a disabled child during a White House event.

Millions of “Harry Potter” fans were told Friday by Ms. Rowling that Mr. Trump callously treated a boy confined to wheelchair who was visiting the White House during a July 24 “Victims of Obamacare” event, despite evidence showing the president leaning down to greet the child.

The author has refused to clarify her statement, causing some observers, including journalist Piers Morgan, to label Ms. Rowling’s behavior as “disgraceful.”

“I will keep on this until she deletes those tweets,” he tweeted Sunday. “Using a disabled boy to falsely smear someone is disgraceful.”

Ms. Rowling’s original series of tweets called Mr. Trump “horrible” for seemingly ignoring the child.

“That clip of Trump looking deliberately over a disabled child’s head, ignoring his outstretched hand, has touched me on the raw,” she wrote. “My mother used a wheelchair. I witnessed people uncomfortable around her disability, but if they had a shred of decency they got over it. (unless related to him by ties of blood, and therefore his creations) [people are] treated with contempt, because they do not resemble Trump. This monster of narcissism values only himself and his pale reflections. The disabled, minorities, transgender people, the poor, women. Trump imitated a disabled reporter. Now he pretends not to see a child in a wheelchair, as though frightened he might catch his condition.”

A woman claiming to be the mother of the child asked others on social media to contact the author, and video was provided showing Mr. Trump’s welcoming gesture.

“If someone can please get a message to J.K. Rowling: Trump didn’t snub my son & Monty wasn’t even trying to shake his hand,” Marjorie Kelly Weer wrote on Facebook, the U.K. Telegraph reported Monday. “(1. He’s 3 and hand shaking is not his thing, 2. he was showing off his newly acquired secret service patch). Thanks.”

Ms. Rowling returned to Twitter multiple times to add new content without correcting her original remarks.

“How stunning that you haven’t taken these tweets down yet. The guy you linked to did once he knew the truth. Why haven’t you?” asked Brian Cates on Saturday.

Update: J.K. Rowling tweeted the following statement on Monday after the publication of this story: “Multiple sources have informed me that that was not a full or accurate representation of their interaction. I very clearly projected sensitivities around the issue of disabled people being overlooked or ignored onto the images I saw and if that caused any distress to that boy or his family, I apologize unreservedly. These tweets will remain, but I will delete the previous ones on the subject.”

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