Speed Reads

fact check

Donald Trump is incorrectly claiming Arabs in New Jersey openly cheered the 9/11 attacks

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Sunday on ABC's This Week that he suggested making a database for Syrian refugees, but that he couldn't rule out tracking all Muslims in the country in light of the Islamic State's Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Trump also doubled down on a claim he made Saturday, that Arabs in New Jersey were cheering on the 9/11 attacks:

Hey, 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. [This Week]

When host George Stephanopoulos played Trump's above sound bite and repeatedly challenged his account, the presidential contender responded, "George, it did happen."

Trump's claim that he watched this footage on TV is rooted in myths that first circulated in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

Reports at the time showed cheers from in Middle Eastern countries, but news outlets in New Jersey didn't report anything similar happening in Jersey City, according to a New York Times search. There were reports suggesting people danced in the streets in Paterson, New Jersey, as the Twin Towers fell, but city police did not find any evidence to back up that account, The Record reports.

Listen to Trump's full phone interview with Stephanopoulos below. Julie Kliegman