Did he or didn’t he? That is what news sources and others looking to find out after Donald Trump, the leader of the Republican candidates for President, stated on Saturday during a campaign stop in Alabama: “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.” Trump still has not backed down from the assertion and has gone even further in defending this statement. On Sunday, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Trump continued detailing his memory of that fateful day in September. Trump stated that “They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down — as those buildings came down, and that tells you something. It was well covered at the time.” Trump is insistent that this did happen but those from the area in New Jersey say No it didn’t. Jerry Speziale, the Police Commissioner of Paterson, New Jersey stated that “That is totally false. That is patently false,” and that “That never happened. There were no flags burning, no one was dancing.”
The New York Times also tried to find reports that matched Trumps memory but were unable to. The Times went on to say, “No news reports exist of people cheering in the streets, and both police officials and the mayor of Jersey City have said that it did not happen. An Internet rumor about people cheering in the streets, which said it was in Paterson, not Jersey City, has been denied numerous times by city and police officials.” In continuing to contradict Trump’s memory, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said Trump “has memory issues or willfully distorts the truth, either of which should be concerning for the Republican Party.” Fulop continued his statement that “Trump is plain wrong, and he is shamefully politicizing an emotionally charged issue. No one in Jersey City cheered on September 11th,” Continuing Fulop said “We were actually among the first to provide responders to help in lower Manhattan. Trump needs to understand that Jersey City will not be part of his hate campaign.”
There is also the question of where was Trump when the Towers fell on 9/11. Newark and Paterson New Jersey, are the home to the 2nd most Muslim population in the United States next to Michigan. There were no confirmed reports of mass cheering in Jersey City which is located directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan during the terrorist attack. So did Trump see the celebrations or did he make an honest mistake? Could he be thinking of footage showing Arab nations cheering the destruction of the World Trade Center? So far, Trump’s memory of the event has not been proven.