During a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, on Nov. 21, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he saw "thousands" of people in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 terrorist attacks (video below).
"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," Trump said. "Thousands of people were cheering. So something is going on. We've got to find out what it is. I do want surveillance [of mosques]."
ABC's "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos told Trump on Nov. 22, "The police say that didn't happen," but Trump insisted it was on TV, Politifact reports.
"It was on television," Trump said. "I saw it. It was well-covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don't like to talk about it, but it was well-covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down -- not good."
According to Politifact, there was a video of Palestinians celebrating in Israel and two unsupported rumors of so-called celebrations in New Jersey.
For the first account, The Associated Press noted on Sept. 17, 2001, that there were "rumors of rooftop celebrations of the attack by Muslims" in Jersey City, but the news service said those rumors were "unfounded."
For the second account, The Washington Post reported on Sept. 18, 2001: "In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners' plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river." However, no specific source was provided.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted on Nov. 22: "Clearly @realDonaldTrump comment is absurd on #JerseyCity. good thing is his campaign 100% leads to dem pres."
Trump campaign adviser Daniel Scavino Jr. tried to back up Trump's claim by tweeting part of The Washington Post report on Nov. 22: "Within hours - authorities detained & questioned people allegedly seen celebrating the attacks & holding parties on rooftops in #JerseyCity."
Scavino also tweeted: "Authorities raided an apartment in #JerseyCity. During raids, 3 men were detained - than 3 more in Elizabeth w/ cash & one way tix to Syria."
However, Scavino provided no proof of Trump's claim that "thousands" partied in Jersey City.