US President Donald Trump had drawn criticism on social media after admitting the Paralympics was “a little tough to watch too much”.
Mr Trump made the comment at a ceremony with Team USA athletes who participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the White House on Saturday (Friday local time).
The US President said what happened with the Paralympics was “so incredible” and “so inspiring” to him before saying the competition was a “little tough to watch too much”.
“I watched as much as I could, it was really fantastic and I want to thank you,” Mr Trump said to the entire contingent of US Olympic team.
WATCH: During an event with Team USA Olympians and Paralympians at the White House, President Trump said, "What happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me. And I watched — it's a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could." pic.twitter.com/geYUUu9vmg
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) April 27, 2018
The US President failed to clarify his comment and was later blasted on social media, with some calling the comment an “insult” and others suggesting it was Mr Trump who was “hard to watch”.
Lieutenant Governor of California and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom called Mr Trump a “disgrace”, posting a photograph of his meeting with members of California’s disability community.
“Spent my day meeting with CA’s Disability Community — some of the most inspiring and thoughtful people I’ve ever met,” Mr Newsom wrote.
“Left to see our President proclaiming the Paralympics are ‘a little tough to watch too much of’.”
Spent my day meeting with CA’s Disability Community — some of the most inspiring and thoughtful people I’ve ever met.
Left to see our President proclaiming the Paralympics are “a little tough to watch too much of.”
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 28, 2018
The mother of a seven-year-old boy with Achondroplasia, the most common form of Dwarfism, said her son wasn’t “tough to watch”, but “simply a wonderful athlete” in a Twitter post.
My 7 year old son has Achondroplasia, the most common form of Dwarfism. He is an amazing swimmer who we hope will participate in Junior Nationals this year for the Paralympics. He isn't "tough to watch." He is simply a wonderful athlete.
— Full Plate Mom (@Fullplatemama) April 27, 2018
During the ceremony, Mr Trump also credited the “red, white and blue” athletes for assisting peace talks between leaders on the Korean Peninsula.
“It really helped to bring it all together,” Mr Trump said.
“A lot of good things are happening right now over there, literally, as we speak,” he said as leaders of North and South Korea signed a declaration agreeing to work for the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.
“It was a big help, just in that respect,” he said to the athletes.
The US president received a flag, signed by every member of the Olympic and Paralympic delegation.