Donald Trump’s 9/11 celebration claim widely disputed

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amid Outcry, Trump Continues Campaign of Controversy.

WASHINGTON — On the same weekend that Donald Trump suggested a black protester at his Alabama rally deserved to be “roughed up,” the 2016 Republican presidential frontrunner retweeted false and inflammatory statistics on race and crime, The Washington Post notes. “I saw them steal the microphone from Bernie Sanders and he just yielded, which surprised me”; ‘‘You know, when you say it’s a big movement, I don’t think it’s a big movement.

Donald Trump wasn’t backing down Monday on his controversial claim that he saw “thousands” of people cheering in Jersey City, N.J., “when the World Trade Center came tumbling down” on Sept. 11, 2001 — even as the city’s mayor said the front-running Republican presidential hopeful has “memory issues, or willfully distorts the truth.” Trump first told the story Saturday at a rally in Birmingham, Ala., as he pressed the need for greater surveillance, including monitoring certain mosques, in the wake of the Paris attacks. “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down.Donald Trump once again demonstrated his penchant for believing anything that comports with his preconceptions, tweeting out a factually challenged report on 2015 crime statistics from the non-existent “Crime Statics Bureau — San Francisco”: In addition to originating with an organization that doesn’t appear to exist, the “infographic” purports to compile crime data for 2015 — which, as you well know but Trump apparently doesn’t, hasn’t ended yet. The discredited graphic, which alleges that blacks are responsible for most of the murders of black and white victims in the U.S., is not supported by FBI data. Even if that were a simple typographical error, and the party responsible for these “statistics” meant “2014,” the data would still be inaccurate.

As with many of Trumps controversial comments, however, his clarifications often brought more confusion — his businessman’s style of keeping options open and responding that he’ll “look into” various issues having become a trademark of the campaign. Trump repeated the claim Sunday in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” after host George Stephanopoulos explained that police had refuted any such rumors at the time. “There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations.

Since the November 13 attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people and wounded hundreds more, Trump has gone further than any of his 2016 rivals, calling for — and then at times appearing to walk back on — measures steeped in racial and religious profiling that he insists are necessary to keep Americans safe. The decision to endorse this particular tweet is particularly damaging considering that, as Raw Story’s Travis Getty reported, it may have originated as a piece of neo-Nazi propaganda, as the earliest iteration of it appears on the Twitter account of a brazen white supremacist. The statistics reflect what has long been true about homicide in America: people are usually killed by people they know, including people they are related to or live near. As everyone who has ever taught — or even taken — a college-level composition course knows, the facts one must be most wary of are those that conform to the world as we believe it exists. It’s far too easy be intellectually lazy and fall into the trap of believing what we want to believe because we already believe it — which in Trump’s case, speaks very poorly about his view of African-Americans.

Then, Thursday, Trump spoke with Yahoo News on the issue of tracking Muslims through databases. “We’re going to have to do things that we never did before,” he said. Facing considerable blowback, Trump said he thought he’d been asked about the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico — an issue that has been the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign from its conception.

I mean, listen, I can’t say, Matt, I can’t say that I have – it was a pretty emotional time for me because, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s family involved, there’s friends involved and so it was a pretty harrowing time. The question called for straightforward candor about his own constituents, but instead Christie was reduced to, “[Y]ou know, there could be things I forget” before eventually saying he doesn’t “remember” Jersey City residents celebrating the death of thousands.

He’s yet to apologize for a string of remarks that reporters and rivals have balked at, and his comments about mosques, refugees, and surveillance are no different. The weak answer came hours after Christie was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper, who asked the governor what he thinks should happen to the Syrian refugees who’ve already been resettled in New Jersey. The great irony is, the official slogan of Christie’s presidential campaign – appearing in all caps at the top of his home page – is “Telling It Like It Is.” To be sure, I think there’s probably room in the crowded Republican presidential field for a straight-talking, no-nonsense contender who offers hard truths, without regard for whether the facts are popular. Christie, to his credit, said in reference to conservative critics, “I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.” Four years later, he’s pandering to those crazies, claiming a bad memory about 9/11 celebrations that never happened, telling the world how scared he is of orphaned toddlers, and ducking tough questions – often waiting until his Republican rivals have already spoken – for fear of alienating the GOP base. And if those assumptions are true, one wonders whether the New Jersey Republican will soon look back at this period and wonder what might have happened if he’d shown a little more courage.

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