Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday reframed his claim that he saw Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001 by asserting the sentiment was shared worldwide.
“Worldwide, the Muslims were absolutely going wild,” the real estate mogul said at a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida.
Trump came under fire a week ago for saying at another rally and in a nationally televised appearance that he watched thousands of people in Jersey City cheer the World Trade Center’s implosion. Fact checkers debunked his claim.
Still, the race ahead of the November 2016 presidential election has taken a sharp turn toward focusing on terrorism in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris two weeks ago. Trump has been among the most vocal of the Republican candidates in raising skepticism about Muslims living in the United States. When prompted by a reporter, he said he would not oppose creating a national database that tracks Muslims in the country.
The controversial remarks may be taking a toll on Trump, who has seen his support in Reuters/Ipsos opinion polling of Republican voters nationally take a sharp downturn in the past week. In the past five days, he dropped 12 points from 43 percent to 31 percent, although he continues to hold a wide lead over his competitors.
Trump used ample time in his remarks to point out how far ahead he is in opinion polling in many states, and he defended his recent commentary.
To back up his claims of seeing spectators celebrate 9/11, this week Trump cited a 2001 Washington Post article about authorities detaining people who had celebrated the attack on rooftops with views of the site. The article, since corrected, was written by Serge Kovaleski, who has a disability and now writes for the New York Times. In his speech, Trump sought to distance himself from appearing to have mocked the reporter during an event Tuesday night.
“I would never mock a person that has a disability,” Trump told the cheering crowd. “I’m telling you, I would never do it.”
With reports mounting of Trump’s rallies growing rough, the candidate urged his audience to be polite to a heckler who briefly brought the Sarasota event to a halt.
“Be nice to the person. Don’t hurt the person,” he instructed the crowd, which cheered him loudly when he told security personnel to escort the heckler from the room. “Do you see how diplomatic I’ve become?”
(Reporting by Erin McPike; Editing by Dan Grebler)
‘Mental midget’ Stephen Miller absolutely demolished in MSNBC blast at Trump’s ‘misfit’ advisers
Given the opportunity to discuss two profiles on White House adviser Stephen Miller -- published by the Washington Post and the New York Times late Saturday -- Democratic consultant Don Calloway jumped in with both feet to trash the man he called a "mental midget"."
Asked p on MSNBC about the controversial Miller's outsized influence on Donald Trump, Calloway didn't hold back.
"What goes through your head when you hear how much influence Stephen Miller has on immigration policy?" host Alex Witt asked.
"Stephen Miller is a mental midget, that's the best thing I can say," Calloway began to the sounds of laughter offscreen.
Lawmaker Rashida Tlaib calls for boycott of Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ over Israel comments
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., suggested a boycott against HBO host Bill Maher after he denounced the international movement to boycott Israel as a "bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class."
This article first appeared on Salon.
"Maybe folks should boycott his show," Tlaib wrote in a tweet on Saturday. "I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn't work then and it won't now."
WATCH: ‘Hero’ walks into middle of Proud Boys protest and says ‘f*ck you’ to each of them
A man became a hero to the internet over the weekend after he was captured on video saying "f*ck you" to members of a group of conservative protesters known as Proud Boys.
In a video that appeared to be from Saturday's protests in Portland, a man can be seen walking into a group of right-wing demonstrators.
"F*ck you," the man says, pointing at an apparent Proud Boys member.
"F*ck you," the man says again as he points at another member of the group.
The man then repeats the process over and over, pointing out a member of the Proud Boys each time. He did make an exception for a dog, which he described as "cool."