CNN journalist makes fun of polio survivor McConnell for needing Trump’s help to climb steps
CNN reporter makes fun of polio survivor McConnell for needing Trump’s help to climb steps

CNN political journalist Daniella Diaz tweeted a video on Twitter Monday afternoon mocking President Trump helping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) up the steps after concluding their joint Rose Garden news conference.

“That hand-lock between Trump and McConnell, though,” Diaz tweeted out alongside a short video clip of the two men.

If Daniella Diaz didn’t know before her Monday afternoon tweet, she absolutely knows now, as many Twitter users were quick to point out to Diaz that the 75-year-old McConnell was a polio survivor who sometimes needed assistance. But more than 24 hours later, the tweet had not been retracted and Diaz had not acknowledged the blunder.

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A CNN colleague called out Diaz, quoting her tweet and explaining the situation. At the time this article was published, Diaz had not deleted the tweet. Daily Beast Senior Editor Andrew Kirell also asked what was going on in a since-deleted response.

“McConnell is a polio survivor, a reason why stairs can be tricky at times,” CNN’s Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju wrote. “McConnell often goes up a step at a time, sometimes needs railing for assistance. This time, used Trump for balance.”

Many Twitter users commented on Diaz’s tweet, saying it needs to be removed and criticizing the CNN reporter for the message. “You’re making fun of the President of the United States helping a polio survivor that stumbled. Stay classy CNN, stay classy,” one user responded.

During a 1990 re-election campaign in Kentucky, McConnell spoke of his polio diagnosis in a campaign ad.

“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.

He also penned a book in 2016 titled “The Long Game: A Memoir” in which he wrote about his battle with polio and the round-the-clock care his mother gave him when he fell ill with the disease at the age of 2. As a toddler, his mother had to do physical therapy with him sometimes up to four times a day.

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“I think it was a — it had to have been an early lesson that tenacity and hard work and sticking to it that I learned from my mother, and I have tried — applied that over and over again throughout my life,” he said in an interview with PBS in 2016.

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