Society

J. K. Rowling Apologizes For Incorrect Tweet (Video)

| by Alex Scarr
J.K. Rowling in 2010J.K. Rowling in 2010

British author J. K. Rowling apologized for incorrectly asserting that U.S. President Donald Trump refused to shake a disabled boy's hand during a meeting with the boy's family (video below).

Trump hosted the family of 3-year-old Montgomery Weer at the White House after his speech on health care July 24, according to The Huffington Post. Montgomery suffers from spina bifida, a condition that prevents the spinal cord from growing properly, and Trump used the Weer's financial case to show the limitations of Obamacare.

In the edited video, it appears that Trump shakes the hands of several adults standing behind him, while Montgomery stretches his hand up toward the president. It looked as if the boy's hand was left hanging, but Trump gets around to shaking it.

Rowling was critical of Trump via Twitter after seeing the edited version of the video, which depicted Trump not shaking Montgomery's hand.

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"How stunning, and how horrible, that Trump cannot bring himself to shake the hand of a small boy who only wanted to touch the president," she tweeted. Rowling also added that her own mother used a wheelchair and often people would refuse to acknowledge her because of it.

"So, yes, that clip of Trump looking deliberately over a disabled child’s head, ignoring his outstretched hand, has touched me on the raw," she finished.

Rowling left the tweets up for several days, removing them once news outlets began running the full-length video to show that Trump did, in fact, shake the boy's hand. The boy's mother also defended the president in a Facebook post, saying that Trump "didn't snub" her son, according to CNN.

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Rowling then took to Twitter to apologize to the Weer family.

"I very clearly projected my own 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," she wrote. She then deleted her previous tweets regarding the matter.

The purpose of the Weers' meeting with Trump, though, was to raise awareness of difficulties in the "continuity of care" for treating Montgomery's condition, according to The Washington Post.

"Everyone is talking about Rowling and apologies instead of the real snub, which is Monty and kids like him getting the care he needs with the Affordable Care Act,” said Montgomery's cousin Jonathan Bubar. "That’s the real issue.”

Rowling has been one of Trump's more outspoken critics, often using Twitter to share her comments regarding the president. She is best known for penning the "Harry Potter" series of novels. 

Sources: The Huffington Post, CNN, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Getty Images via TMZ, J. K. Rowling via Business Insider, Daniel Ogren/Flickr

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