Donald Trump may have defended his impression of a disabled journalist as mocking a man who tried to change his story, but the president-elect has done the very same thing when it comes to Meryl Streep.
On Monday, Trump admonished the triple Oscar-winner on Twitter as “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” after Streep spoke about his “performance” as Serge Kovaleski, a New York Times reporter who has a chronic condition called arthrogryposis that affects the movement of his arms.
Streep was widely praised by the film industry and beyond for standing up to Trump and the “instinct to humiliate when it’s modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.
Trump first responded via the New York Times, saying he was “not surprised” by her comments, before reacting on Twitter. He took both opportunities to stress that he “was never mocking anyone. I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story.”
However, the president-elect was far more complimentary of Streep before Sunday. When, in 2015, Trump was asked by The Hollywood Reporter who his favourite actresses were, he said: “Meryl Streep is excellent; she’s a fine person, too”. Which, unusually, is an opinion that many people would agree with.