Trump observed the 16 anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks today, saying “Our values will endure. Our people will thrive” at the site of the United Airlines Flight 93 crash at the Pentagon. The solemn occasion was a time to pay respect to almost 3,000 lives lost that day. It was also a day Trump missed the opportunity to pay respect to thousands more Americans, who he personally denigrated during his November 2015 campaign.
Trump’s story about New Jersey Muslims is just one of series of disturbing things he’s done involving 9/11.
Trump’s statement during his campaign, November 21, 2015:
“Hey, 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. So something’s going on. We’ve got to find out what it is,” said Trump.
Trump reasserted his position on ABC:
“It did happen. I saw it. … It was on television. I saw it. … 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,” said Trump.
Both Politifact and FactCheck.org reviewed Trump’s claim and found his story false. Politifact rated it “Pants on Fire,” with no evidence, calling his claim an urban myth. Instead, they found stories of Muslims speaking out against the terrorism.
Trump tried to back up his position with a Tweet referencing The Washington Post, but the allegations of celebrations were unverified and totally unsubstantiated. One of the authors of the article, Serge Kovaleski, told Fact Checker there was no case to claim thousands of people or even hundreds cheered. The Post article could be where Trump’s idea originated and became exaggerated to serve his own narrative about Muslim Americans.
Trump made matters much worse by doing an offensive imitation of Kovaleski, who suffers from a chronic condition that impairs his arms. (To whom he also has not apologized.) See the video below:
Trump stuck his foot in his mouth the very day of the attack by gloating that his building would now be the tallest since the World Trade Center collapsed. That claim wasn’t even true since 70 Pine Street is actually taller than 40 Wall Street, Trump’s address. He also went on to say that he believed bombs were set off when the planes hit the twin towers, a common conspiracy theory. This happens at 6:40 into the video below:
On September 11, 2013, Trump made strange inappropriate Tweet:
“@realDonaldTrump: I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.”
When the tweet was 2-years old it was apparently deleted, though a manual retweet remained.
Trump’s bizarre choice of words that September 11 is a “special date,” while focusing on “haters and losers” is wildly inappropriate at a minimum. His impersonation of a disabled reporter is just wrong – it should have ended his campaign right there. His exaggerated propaganda story that thousands of American Muslims celebrated 9/11 was a lie and an insult to all Americans and Muslims. The story was clearly meant to incite hate, something we’ve now seen again with his travel/ Muslim ban. Trump should have apologized to those people today. At the very least, he should admit it wasn’t true like he was finally forced to do when he knowingly lied claiming Obama wasn’t born in the United States.
Featured image via Pixabay