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)
AG Bill Barr will ‘try to interfere’ in the 2020 election to re-elect Trump: MSNBC national affairs analyst
Attorney General William Barr will use the Department of Justice to "try to interfere" in the 2020 presidential election to re-elect Donald Trump, MSNBC's national affairs analyst predicted on Tuesday.
John Heilemann was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word."
"The attorney general, from the moment he walked into this job, has behaved in a -- as a ruthless, relentless political hack and a thug and who has behaved not as attorney general of the United States," Heilemann said.
"He made a travesty of the Mueller report and continues to lie on Donald Trump's behalf at every opportunity," he added.
WATCH: Maddow hilariously recaps Trump’s ‘shenanigans in the Oval Office’ with the Russian foreign minister
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday examined President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov -- on the same day that the House of Representatives unveiled articles of impeachment against the commander-in-chief.
Following the meeting, Lavrov trolled Trump on the issues of foreign election interference and Trump's habit of revealing classified intelligence.
"Given that, given the way the president is being impeached for having done all those things to Ukraine in and way that undermined our alliance with them and specifically their fight against Russian aggression -- which has, you know, led to a five-year-long war in Ukraine -- I mean given the fact he's being impeached for undermining Ukraine in its war against Russia, this is heck of a day to choose to have the Russian foreign minister sitting on your lap in the Oval Office," Maddow said.
CNN’s Cuomo smacks down GOP congressman for claiming Democrats have no impeachable offense on Trump
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) tried to claim that Democrats had no impeachable offenses against Trump — and anchor Chris Cuomo promptly fact-checked him.
"I still ask that question, what was the impeachable offense?" said Mullin. "They started with quid pro quo, moved to bribery and when the articles of impeachment came out, they say it's high crimes and misdemeanors. From day one they have been in search of a crime. They've been trying to explain to the American people why they're impeaching a duly elected president. Underneath the past impeachments it was very clear. Clinton committed perjury. Andrew Johnson, he removed the Secretary of War illegally and Nixon broke into the DNC. Those are impeachable offenses. I ask the question—"