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Chuck Todd, Donald Trump Battle Over NJ Muslims Celebrating 9/11: ‘Why Would I Take It Back?’


Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump got into a heated exchange with host Chuck Todd over Trump’s claims there were thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the Twin Towers going down on September 11, 2001.

Todd said, “Let’s go to this Jersey City comment. You said you saw this. nobody can find evidence of this. And, more importantly, the article that you tweeted out that says — that this backed you up, that in itself there were three or four different reports that month in New Jersey that said it was a myth that was spread, that it was a false rumor, FBI, you name it. Where did you see this?”

Trump replied, “Chuck, I saw it on television. so did many other people…in the area. I also heard Paterson. I’ve heard Jersey City, I’ve heard Patterson. It was 14 years ago but I saw it on television. I saw clips and so did many other people and many people saw in the person. I’ve had hundreds of phone calls to the Trump organization saying ‘we saw it, it was dancing in the streets.’ And, by the way, The Washington Post, now he tried to pull back, but The Washington Post reported tailgate parties and reports of tailgate parties. Tailgate parties mean, like, for a football game where you have hundreds and hundreds and maybe even thousands of people having tailgate parties. I saw it at the time. I stick by it. Hundreds of people have confirmed it.”

Todd interjected, “This didn’t happen in New Jersey. There were plenty of reports.”

Trump interrupted saying,”Chuck, it did happen in New Jersey. I have hundreds of people that agree with me.”

Todd said, “They want to agree with you, that doesn’t make it true.”

Trump said, “Chuck, you have a huge Muslim population over there and that’s fine. That’s fine, but you have a huge Muslim population between Paterson and different places in Jersey City and unbelievable large population. If they’re going to be doing it at soccer games, if they’re going to be doing it all around the world that was being done, it was — when the World Trade Center came down it was done all around the world and you know that because that has been reported very strongly. Why wouldn’t it have taken place? I’ve had hundreds of people call in and tweet in on twitter saying that they saw it and I was 100% right. now, the “Washington Post” also wrote about tailgate parties. We’re looking for other articles and we’re looking for other clips and I wouldn’t be surprised if we found them, Chuck. But for some reason they’re not that easy to come by. I saw it. so many people saw it, Chuck. So why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back.”

Todd said, “Just because somebody repeats something doesn’t make it true.”

Trump continued, “Hundreds. I don’t mean I had two calls, Chuck. Even yesterday I was in a Sarasota, Florida, and people were saying they lived in Jersey.”

Todd shot back, “People were saying. Mr. Trump, if I say ‘Well, people have said Mr. Trump is not worth $10 billion” you would say that was crazy,  based on retweets and hearsay. You’re running for president of the United States. Your words matter. Truthfulness matters. Fact-based stuff matters.”

Trump said, “Take it easy, Chuck. Just play cool. This is people in this country that love our country that saw this by the hundreds they’re calling and they’re tweeting and there’s a lot of people in Sarasota, people were telling me yesterday they used to live in New Jersey, they remember it vividly. They thought it was disgusting. So these are people that saw it, too. The Washington Post reported it. other people — many, many people have seen it. So I believe that — I have a very good memory, Chuck, I’ll tell you, I have a very good memory. I saw it somewhere on television many years ago and I never forgot it and it was on television, too.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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