Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has apologised after falsely accusing US President Donald Trump of failing to shake the hand of a young boy in a wheelchair.
On Monday the author tweeted about a meeting between Trump and a group of children, saying it was “stunning” and “horrible” that he “cannot bring himself to shake the hand of a small boy”. The first of these messages racked up 75,000 retweets by the end of Monday.
She had tweeted: “Trump imitated a disabled reporter. Now he pretends not to see a child in a wheelchair, as though frightened he may catch his condition.
“My mother used a wheelchair. I witnessed people uncomfortable around her disability, but if they had a shred of decency they got over 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.
“That man occupies the most powerful office in the free world and his daily outrages against civilised norms are having a corrosive effect
“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.”
However, it soon emerged that Trump did greet the boy, as seen in this video posted by The White House (skip to the 2.15 mark).
This led to a series of messages to Rowling, including from Brian Weer, the child’s uncle:
Boy in wheelchair is my nephew, and Trump spoke with him for a long time NOT captured in video. He was very caring! How dare you!