A CNN reporter is being criticized for inadvertently making fun of a polio survivor.
On Oct. 16, CNN political reporter Daniella Diaz posted a video on Twitter showing President Donald Trump helping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell up the steps after concluding their joint Rose Garden news conference, reports The Blaze.
McConnell joined Trump for the news conference as a show of support for the president's legislative agenda. Trump has often clashed with McConnell and the GOP establishment that he represents, notes The Inquisitr.
"That hand-lock between Trump and McConnell, though," Diaz captioned the short video clip of the two men.
As many Twitter users pointed out, 75-year-old McConnell is a polio survivor who sometimes needs assistance.
Diaz's colleague, CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju, tweeted a response. "McConnell often goes up a step at a time, sometimes needs railing for assistance," he wrote. "This time, used Trump for balance."
One Twitter user wrote: "Really? McConnell had polio when young, used the President's hand for support up stairs. Mean, hateful comments."
Another chimed in: "My mother has polio. I've done the same thing for her most of my life. It's called compassion. Perhaps do some research before tweeting."
But it's not the first time that McConnell has been the butt of a joke about something physical.
As Rolling Stone observes, comedian Jon Stewart frequently noted the senator's resemblance to Cecil Turtle, the adversary of Bugs Bunny in the old "Looney Tunes" cartoons. Stewart usually accompanied the comparison with an impersonation of McConnell, while speaking in Cecil's very slow Southern drawl.
When McConnell was asked his opinion of Stewart's impersonation, he said he "loved it," reports The Washington Times.
McConnell previously spoke of his bout with polio in a campaign ad, notes The Blaze.
"When I was a child and my dad was in World War II, I got polio. I recovered, but my family almost went broke," McConnell said in the ad.
McConnell also wrote about it in his book, "The Long Game: A Memoir," describing how his mother cared for him constantly after he contracted the disease at the age of 2. As a toddler, she helped him with physical therapy as many as four times a day, he explained.
He revisited the subject in a 2016 interview with PBS. "I think it was … an early lesson that tenacity and hard work and sticking to it that I learned from my mother, and I have … applied that over and over again throughout my life," he said.
Despite the criticism generated by Diaz's comment about Trump helping McConnell up the stairs, she did not respond or retract her tweet.
Ironically, Trump was widely condemned for impersonating a disabled reporter during his 2016 presidential campaign.