Lie Of The Year: Trump Claims To Have Personally Watched New Jersey Muslims Cheer On 9/11

Donald Trump has called for American mosques to be shuttered and databases to be developed to watch Muslims. His anti-Muslim rhetoric is appalling even by Trump’s very low standards. To justify his bigotry, Trump has taken to outright lying. His latest slur against American Muslims is astounding.

At a Birmingham, Alabama rally (which notably featured Trump inciting his followers to attack a Black Lives Matter protester – a call they answered with glee), Trump also told the crowd that he had personally witnessed “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey cheering in the streets when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. Trump likes to claim the “liberal media” twists his words, so let’s just quote him fully here:

“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.”

It’s a new take on an old myth. For years, right-wing xenophobes have claimed Muslims in America openly supported the mass murder of fellow Americans because of their sympathies to Islamic extremists. Absolutely no evidence supports this claim. As The New York Times patiently explains, zero New Jersey news reports from that day make any mention of thousands of Muslims celebrating in the streets.

It was not clear what Mr. Trump was referring to. There were cheers of support in some Middle Eastern countries that day, which were broadcast on television. But a persistent Internet rumor of Muslims celebrating in Paterson, N.J., was discounted by police officials at the time. A search of news accounts from that period shows no reports of mass cheering in Jersey City.

Trump can’t even argue that he has bad information. He said he watched Muslims cheer. He wants us to believe he personally saw this. He didn’t. This is a lie meant to slander Muslims and exploit the tragedy to score cheap political points. In fact, Trump was singing a very different tune during the actual attacks. In an interview given just two days after 9/11, Trump made no mention of Muslims cheering in the streets. He also didn’t name “Radical Islam” at all. He mostly talked about his own properties and how they were affected.


Donald Trump lies about a lot of things, but stoking the hatred of his followers by slandering Muslim-Americans – just as much victims of 9/11 as anyone else – is a particularly disgusting bit of politicking. For those who thought Trump couldn’t sink any lower, you just got your answer. He can – and did.

Feature image via YouTube