Donald Trump has been a phenomenon during this presidential campaign so far. His outspoken, no-holds-barred manner has attracted a lot of fans who see in him something we don’t often see in politicians: blunt honesty.
It’s been my feeling all along while watching the Trump train gather steam that it will be those same qualities that will ultimately get him in trouble. He’s straightforward and unabashed, but he’s also a showman who seems to have an instinct for always making statements that are bigger and bolder.
That makes me wonder if The Donald hasn’t just cut his own throat with the assertion that he saw Arab Americans in Jersey City, New Jersey, celebrating on 9/11 when the Twin Towers came down.
On Saturday at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, Trump was discussing the need to monitor mosques in the wake of the Paris massacre. He said, “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.”
Trump repeated the story when he was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. Stephanopoulos pointed out that the police in Jersey City deny that local Arabs were celebrating on 9/11.
Trump insisted he had seen it, Stephanopoulos asked if he had seen it with his own eyes, and Trump replied:
“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations,” he said. “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, George.”
Trump’s gotten a lot of traction for his campaign by upsetting the liberal media narrative and stepping on the toes of the politically correct crowd.
Whenever they’ve tried to nail him on something, he just doubles down and so far has proven to be correct in his instinct to ignore the assertions of the media. So far, the facts have been on his side.
The rumor of Arab-Americans celebrating 9/11 has been circulating for years on the Internet and in urban legend.
Trump has now staked his campaign and reputation on those stories being true.
They very well may be true, but right now there don’t seem to be any videos or articles from the time to support Trump’s assertion.
It really would only take one to prove to his fans that The Donald once again is in the right.
So, did Trump just shoot himself in the foot? The next few days will tell.