Donald Trump’s Wednesday rally in Daytona Beach, Fla., was something of a highlight reel of some of his most famous campaign-trail controversies from last year.
The GOP nominee noted his displeasure with a recent Hillary Clinton campaign ad that depicted children watching him make crude comments.
He began by arguing that his infamous comment about Megyn Kelly having “blood coming out of her whatever” was misconstrued. Trump had made the remark about Kelly last August while accusing her of being overly aggressive while moderating the first GOP debate.
“I meant her nose or her ears or her mouth,” Trump said at the event in Daytona Beach. “But these people are perverted and they thought I was talking about somewhere else. And I cut [the comment] short because I was talking about taxes or economic development. … I wanted to get back on the subject.”
The business mogul then moved on to defending his depiction of a disabled New York Times reporter at a rally at the end of last year. Trump reenacted the reporter, Serge Kovaleski, supposedly flailing his arms while retracting an old story about Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack.
Kovaleski had accused Trump of misinterpreting his story and said Trump was familiar with his condition, which limited his arm movement.
“He was trying to change his story,” Trump said of the incident. “I didn’t know the reporter. But then the reporter said he met me. … He said I knew him and I knew what he looked like. I don’t know him. And I’ve spent millions on buildings for people with disabilities.”
Later in the rally, he boasted that he invested in making his buildings accessible to the disabled. He offered a similar defense as the controversy was raging last year, leading the Daily Beast to report that his properties “have been sued a number of times for violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.”
“I spend millions of dollars on ramps, on all sorts of things in buildings. In some cases, many cases things I didn’t have to do,” Trump said.
Trump’s decision to rehash these old controversies was striking given that he has for days been embroiled in a series of new firestorms. The fresh controversies prompted a new round of handwringing by Republican operatives concerned about his ability to stay on message.