Donald Trump is doubling down on his false 9/11 claims, carefully citing a source who says he’s totally wrong.
At a rally in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday and also during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, the Republican presidential candidate and chewed-up furball cited an unfounded claim that “thousands and thousands” of people in New Jersey, particularly a “heavy Arab population,” were “cheering as that building came down” on Sept. 11, 2001.
Despite the fact that the Associated Press, the New York Times, and ABC News say that there were no such accounts, Trump continues to spread the widely-debunked rumor. On Monday, he shared a passage from an article that ran Sept. 18, 2001, that reported that people were allegedly celebrating as the towers fell from Jersey City.
Unfortunately for Trump, the reporter who wrote that paragraph says he’s got it wrong. The Daily Beast reached out to Serge Kovaleski, one of the journalists who wrote the story, who said that the claims were not true.
“We did a lot of shoe leather reporting in and around Jersey City and talked to a lot of residents and officials for the broader story. Much of that has, indeed, faded from memory. But I do not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating. That was not the case, as best as I can remember.”
“I specifically visited the Jersey City building and neighborhood where the celebrations were purported to have happened. But I could never verify that report.”
But to Trump, does the truth really even matter? At this point, probably not.