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J.K. Rowling Admits She Was Wrong About Trump Ignoring A Kid In A Wheelchair

The Harry Potter author admitted she did not see a "full or accurate" video of the president's interaction with the toddler.

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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling apologized Monday for her recent Twitter rant accusing President Donald Trump of snubbing a toddler with disabilities at a White House press conference.

"I very clearly projected my own sensitivities around the issue of disabled people being overlooked or ignored onto the images I saw," Rowling wrote. "If that caused any distress to that boy or his family, I apologise unreservedly."

The apology came after days of drama over Rowling's accusations. The Friday tweetstorm prompted a wave of criticism against the author. They also reignited her long-running feud with former CNN host Piers Morgan, who accused Rowling of leading a "smear campaign" against the president.

JK Rowling's 8 abusive tweets remain up, 48hrs after they were proven to be based on a lie. https://t.co/SU4XLEtNWO

The drama centers around an video clip of Trump greeting the family of 3-year-old Monty Weer at a White House event for a "victims of Obamacare" event last week.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Monty, who uses a wheelchair, suffers from spina bifida, a birth defect in which the bones in the spinal cord do not form completely, and needs ongoing medical treatment. In his remarks, Trump pointed to the family's healthcare struggles as evidence of problems with the Affordable Care Act.

The video was originally tweeted by Ansel Herz, a Democratic congressional aide, and quickly went viral. Herz has since apologized and deleted the tweet.

Deleted an earlier tweet because it turned out to be missing some context. Apologies.

"That clip of Trump looking deliberately over a disabled child's head, ignoring his outstretched hand, has touched me in the raw," she wrote. "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."

But unedited video shows Trump did greet Monty, bending down to speak with the toddler for a few moments before moving on to greet the other visitors.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

People blasted Rowling for her tweets, and demanded she apologize to the president and retract the false accusation.

Rowling spreads #FakeNews about President Donald Trump, doesn't correct it and quotes a prostitute as inspiration. https://t.co/coVIkVVKKK

Why hasn't @JK_Rowling corrected her bogus tweets about this? (https://t.co/9kdDSDkEQo) https://t.co/UjF0Pw8n7G

Morgan was a particularly vocal critic, repeatedly lambasting Rowling, and accusing people who shared her tweets — including Chelsea Clinton — of perpetuating the accusations.

JK Rowling, in 8 tweets, raged that Trump snubbed a disabled boy. This is Trump greeting that boy. Why won't she… https://t.co/ZU1ZKoAw0G

Clinton later acknowledged she hadn't seen the full video, and deleted her tweet.

@piersmorgan Hello Piers-I hadn't seen the full video until now. I removed the retweet. And, the President should h… https://t.co/mwjDNsQr5Y

Some of Monty's other family members also stood up for the president.

@jk_rowling Boy in wheelchair is my nephew, and Trump spoke with him for a long time NOT captured in video. He was… https://t.co/NXBEe5GZk5

The drama sparked such a "crazy response" on social media, Monty's mother eventually deleted her Facebook account, her cousin, Jonathan Bubar, told BuzzFeed News.

"This is all so silly," Bubar said, noting that he was stunned by the fury the video had ignited on both sides of the healthcare debate.

"The problem with this stuff is that the damage is already done," he said. "Both sides need to stop talking about snubs and get back to helping kids like Monty who are banking on a healthcare system that is crumbling."

Asked what Weer thought of Rowling's apology, Bubar said the mother of two had been "too busy changing diapers to catch up on the news and read it yet."

But like other Rowling critics, Bubar said he wished she had directed her apology to Trump.

"The apology should be to the president," he said. "She owes him an eight part apology."

Brianna Sacks is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Brianna Sacks at brianna.sacks@buzzfeed.com.

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