Casalino rebuts Down kids bother me quip

Media wants to fling mud at me says PM spokesman

(ANSA) - Rome, November 8 - Rocco Casalino, the spokesman for Premier Giuseppe Conte, on Thursday played down a row over past remarks that children with Down's Syndrome had "bothered" him ever since he was small.
    Muck-raking website Dagospia posted a Youtube video of the former Big Brother contestant saying "ever since I was a child...all Down's children have bothered me".
    He also said he had always been "disgusted by old people".
    Casalino said his remarks had been taken out of context while he was doing a theatre course. He said the media was making fake news and "only wants to fling mud at me".
    The remarks, he said, absolutely do not represent my thought, either today or back then".
    It is not the first media storm to hit Casalino, a member of Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).
    He has previously come under fire for threatening a purge of economy ministry officials who might obstruct the government's budget plans, and for telling journalists not to stress him out because he needed his mid-August break despite an August 14 bridge collapse that killed 43 people in Genoa.