Donald Trump Says New Jersey Cheered On 9/11 & Everybody But Chris Christie Promptly Debunks This
Since the Paris attacks, Donald Trump has been unleashing a tidal wave of horrifyingly Islamophobic comments. So far, most of the remarks have consisted of extremely discriminatory policy ideas. And over the weekend, he made yet another comment which further portends the fascist regime America would live under if he took office. Trump claimed that thousands cheered on 9/11 in New Jersey, which he noted has a "heavy Arab population."
Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Birmingham, Alabama, Trump offered this absurd anecdote:
I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.
The following day, during an appearance on ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Trump to address his story:
You know, the police say that didn’t happen and all those rumors have been on the Internet for some time. So did you misspeak yesterday?
Trump, being Trump, only doubled down. He insisted that it did happen, and that he saw it. When Stephanopoulos reiterated that law enforcement officials, who are pretty on top of these things, said it did not happen, Trump gave an even more elaborate, and more racist, version of the story:
There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down — as those buildings came down. And that tells you something. It was well covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don’t like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good.
After letting him spew his nonsense, Stephanopoulos noted for a third time that police have denied the story.
The same day, when asked to comment on Trump's story, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told reporters, "I don't recall that." (However, in an odd 180, he added: "I think if it had happened, I would remember it, but, you know, there could be things I forget, too.") Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop also chimed in, slamming Trump's claim:
Trump is plain wrong, and he is shamefully politicizing an emotionally charged issue. No one in Jersey City cheered on September 11.
The Washington Post conducted an extensive fact-check into Trump's statements, and given the evidence they were able to find — or lack thereof — the paper gave his claim a rating of four Pinocchios, which denotes it as absolutely unfounded.
It appears that Trump took this story and ran with it, despite the overwhelming evidence disproving it, because it serves his message that Muslims in America need to be strongly regulated. It all reeks of the nascent stages of an autocratic society in which Trump's word is law, and it's terrifying. But what's most terrifying of all is that Trump continues to play right into ISIS's hands.