Donald Trump is not taking criticism from Meryl Streep lightly, firing back at the actress for her denunciation of his behavior during the campaign.
Hours after Streep said that Trump’s conduct during the campaign “sank its hooks into my heart,” Trump repeatedly fired back at Streep online and in an interview, calling her an ‘over-rated actress’ and a ‘flunky’ for his former political opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big,” Trump tweeted.
Streep’s comments came during her acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards on Sunday night. Without naming him, she pointedly criticized “the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country” for imitating a disabled reporter. The comments were a clear critique of Trump.
In his tweets and comments to the New York Times, Trump strongly denied that he mocked the New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski, in an incident that occurred during a stump speech on the campaign trail.
“I never ‘mocked’ a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him ‘groveling’ when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad,” Trump wrote. “Just more very dishonest media!”
At the rally last year, Trump, speaking of Kovaleski, contorted his hands in a way that clearly imitated Kovaleski’s arthrogryposis, a condition that limits the functioning of his joints.
“I was never mocking anyone,” Mr. Trump told the Times late Sunday. “I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story.”
“People keep saying I intended to mock the reporter’s disability, as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing,” he added.
Trump seemed fixated on support for Clinton among the celebrities gathered at the award show on Sunday night, including Streep.
“And remember, Meryl Streep introduced Hillary Clinton at her convention, and a lot of these people supported Hillary,” Trump said in the Times interview.
The sentiment was echoed by Trump adviser and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who criticized Streep’s comments in an interview on Fox News Monday morning.
“I’m concerned that somebody with a platform like Meryl Streep is also I think inciting people’s worst instincts when she won’t get up there and say I didn’t like it but let’s try to support him and see where we can find common ground,” Conway said.
As he has repeatedly in recent weeks, Trump used the row as an opportunity to boast that his inauguration ceremony would be star-studded.
“We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars,” Trump said. “All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”