Donald Trump has dug himself a hole of lies about seeing Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey — and his campaign manager has grabbed a shovel and is helping to dig in deeper.
The Republican presidential frontrunner claimed Saturday in speech that he saw in New Jersey “thousands and thousands” of people cheering the collapse of the World Trade Center — although police and news organizations have found no evidence that actually happened.
His campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, suggested Tuesday that “special interests” who control the media had conspired to bury evidence to support Trump’s claims.
Lewandowski also claimed Tuesday during a radio appearance that police officers backed Trump’s claims and cited a newspaper account by reporters who have said they found no evidence that any groups of people celebrated the attacks in the New Jersey area, reported Right Wing Watch.
“We know it’s true,” Lewandowski said during an appearance on John Fredericks’ WHKT-AM program in Virginia.
“There were unequivocally people — not just in the Boston area, but around the country — who were happy, if you can believe this, with the devastation that was caused on 9/11. Radical Islamic terrorist who were happy, people who were absolutely and unequivocally proud of the fact that a major terrorist attack was perpetrated on U.S. soil.”
He claimed that the Washington Post had reported “tailgate-style parties” in Jersey City, and he blasted the newspaper for claiming 15 years later that those reports were not accurate.
Lewandowski complained that the Post had never issued a retraction, and he then he claimed law enforcement sources told the newspaper they had seen those celebrations.
In reality, one of the reporters said none of his sources recalled hundreds or thousands of people at such celebrations, and he was eventually unable to verify claims of any celebrations that he reported.
Trump claimed he saw TV coverage of those celebrations, but no media organizations — or anyone else, for that matter — have located such footage.
Law enforcement detained and questioned several people accused of celebrating the attacks but found the reports to be bogus.
John J. Farmer Jr., who in 2001 was the New Jersey attorney general and the state’s chief law enforcement officer, said this week that investigators found no evidence those celebrations took place.
But Trump and his campaign officials continue to insist it’s true, although the candidate concedes he cannot recall exactly where he saw the video despite having “the world’s greatest memory.”