Ben Carson says he also saw footage of Muslims celebrating 9/11 that no one can find
Ben Carson — following in the footsteps of fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump — said Monday he saw footage of Muslims celebrating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New Jersey.
"I saw the film of it, yes," he said, as seen in a video captured by ABC. He said he saw "news reels" about it.
"There are going to be people who respond inappropriately to events like that. I think that was an inappropriate response I don't know if on the basis on that you can say all Muslims are bad people," Carson said. "I really think that would be a stretch."
Asked again if he saw such celebrations, he said, "I saw the film of that happening." A reporter asked if that was in New Jersey, and Carson said "yes."
Donald Trump's claim that "thousands and thousands" of people in Jersey City cheered as the World Trade Center fell — which he made several times over the weekend and Monday — has been widely debunked.
Several news organizations searching their own archives and others could find no evidence of mass celebrations in New Jersey, though there was footage often shown on television of celebrations in Palestinian territories. No footage aired by any news network of mass celebrations in New Jersey has surfaced.
In a series of Tweets Sunday, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop called the claim “absurd” and said his city “doesn’t want to be part of the @realDonaldTrump hate campaign — we aren’t about that."
Trump, for his part, Tweeted Monday that he deserved an apology for reports his claims were unfounded:
His Tweet cites a Washington Post Story from Sept. 18, 2011, saying law enforcement detained and questioned "a number" of people who were alleged to have been seen celebrating the attacks. But the Washington Post never cited a source or ran another story saying if those allegations were substantiated; an Associated Press story at the same time said such reports were unfounded.
The Washington Post itself described Trump's claims as "outrageous" in a fact-check article Sunday.
"There were some reports of celebrations overseas, in Muslim countries, but nothing that we can find involving the Arab populations of New Jersey except for unconfirmed reports," The Washington Post wrote.
Rumors of such celebrations in nearby Paterson have proven far more persistent, though that city's police director told New Jersey 101.5 Monday they're flat-out false.
Despite the assertions from authorities, hundreds of people have commented on New Jersey 101.5's Facebook page or called into the station to say they remember such celebrations. Some say they saw celebrations themselves — many others say they remember seeing celebrations on television or were told about them by others.