Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump has faced strong criticism after he appeared to mock a journalist with a disability during a campaign rally in South Carolina.
The tycoon made the remarks as he defended a recent claim that he had witnessed thousands of Muslims cheering in New Jersey after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
Mr Trump criticised New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski for his recollection of an article he wrote days after the attacks.
Speaking at the rally on Tuesday, Mr Trump appeared to mock Mr Kovaleski's arthrogryposis, which limits the amount someone can move some of their joints & can even leave them stuck in one position at birth.
Jerking his arms in front of his body, Mr Trump said: "Now the poor man – you've received to see this guy. 'Ah, I don't know what I said! I don't remember.
"He's going like 'I don't remember, maybe that's what I said'. This was 14 years ago, they didn't do a retraction!"
Mr Trump cited a 2001 article by Mr Kovaleski, who was working for The Washington Post at the time, which said that authorities had detained a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the 9/11 attacks & "holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river".
In an interview on CNN, Mr Kovaleski said he did not recall anyone "saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating".
Mr Trump was responding to this comment when he apparently mocked the reporter.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Mr Kovaleski said: "The sad part approximately it is, it didn't in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record."
Mr Kovaleski covered Donald Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 & 1993.
A spokesman for Mr Trump's campaign said he was "not aware of any condition & was not mocking his physical appearance in any way".
The New York Times issued a statement on Wednesday, which said: "We think it's outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters."
Mr Trump replied on his Twitter page, writing: "The failing @nytimes should be focused on satisfactory reporting & the papers financial survival & not with constant hits on Donald Trump!"
The 69-year-old has made a number of controversial remarks after launching his campaign to secure the Republican nomination.
In August, he refused to apologise after implying that Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly was tough on him during one of the Republican debates because she was menstruating.
In July, he slammed former Republican presidential contender John McCain's record as a war hero .
And in June he referred to Mexicans as rapists during a speech to announce his candidacy.
Source: “Sky News”