Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump continues to insist that his recollection of “thousands and thousands” of American Muslims cheering in New Jersey on 9/11 is accurate despite absolutely no evidence that this happened. His campaign has been desperate to find video evidence to back up these claims, but so far no matter how much digging journalists and Trump staffer did they couldn’t find a single clip that showed widespread celebrations by American Muslims.
Trump’s campaign was left arguing that it was real because Trump’s memory was “very good” and he’s never been wrong. It was sad.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) November 30, 2015
However, MTV did some digging of their own and managed to pull up a nearly forgotten clip that they had released in November of 2001 that seemed to be the exact one that Trump had remembered – except that he got nearly every detail wrong.
In the video, a young woman from Patterson, New Jersey, does claim that she saw people cheering in the streets on the night of 9/11, however it was far from the “thousands” that Trump claimed. In fact, she guessed that it was about a dozen middle school-aged kids. In a follow-up interview with her this year, MTV asked her about her original statements and she seemed to walk back every one of them. This wasn’t a widespread thing. She doesn’t remember what they were yelling about. And the entire group consisted of 12-year-olds. She concluded that they were probably just excited that they had gotten out of school early (as 12-year-olds obviously would be).
Other clips taken at that time also discount the idea that thousands of Muslims were sympathetic to the terrorists. Throughout 2001, reporters tried to find these people and invariably wound up empty-handed. They simply did not seem to exist.
In a surreal bit of spindoctoring, Trump edited the clip explicitly debunking him and posted it to his Twitter while claiming victory.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2015
Trump is still lying. Unbelievable.
— Curtis Sliwa (@CurtisSliwa) December 1, 2015
It’s become clear that there is simply nothing – even video proof – that will stop Trump from spinning the Islamophobic narrative he created in his head. His campaign is built upon delusions and lies and he’s been rewarded with overwhelming support from Republican voters. They have absolutely no desire to stop supporting Trump just because he makes up his facts. The fantasies he invents for them suit them just fine.
Feature image via MTV News