Donald Trump has dropped jaws at a campaign rally by telling the mother of a crying child to “get the baby out of here”.
The Republican presidential candidate, who is falling behind his rival Hillary Clinton in polls, joked about the noise at first, saying “Don’t worry about that baby, I love babies.”
“I hear that baby crying, I like it!” he said. “Don’t worry.”
Later in the speech, he shifted position, saying: “Actually, I was only kidding, you can get the baby out of here.”
“I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking!” he added.
The incident, which comes as members of his own party express outrage over his reactions to comments by the Muslim parents of a decorated American soldier killed in Iraq, sparked disbelief from many on social media.
“I’m just getting online now, and, uh, I kind of thought that stuff about Trump and a baby was a joke,” one person tweeted.
Others expressed solidarity with Mr Trump not liking babies, or said the mother should have taken the baby outside without being asked.
Many, however, took the opportunity to have another dig at the businessman, whose “Teflon Don” reputation has taken a battering recently.