Ben Carson told reporters on Monday that he has seen the news coverage of New Jersey residents cheering after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, a debunked rumor resurfaced by Donald Trump over the weekend.
Trump on Saturday claimed that he saw “thousands” of Arab Americans in
New Jersey cheering immediately following the 9/11 attacks, and reiterated the claim on Sunday.
“There are going to be people who respond inappropriately to virtually everything. I think that was an inappropriate response. I don’t know if on the basis of that all Muslims are bad people. I really think that would be a stretch,” Carson told reporters, referring to the rumored cheering in New Jersey.
“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down, as those buildings came down, and that tells you something. It was well covered at the time.”
The rumors Trump cited have been debunked by numerous fact-checkers. Some news outlets reported rumors of crowds cheering after the attack, but there was no evidence to support the few reports about Muslims cheering in New Jersey. According to CNN, some local news outlets showed images of Palestinians cheering after the attacks, but it does not appear that there are any photos or video of the events to which Trump and Carson are referring.
Over the past few weeks, some presidential candidates have picked up on proposals floated by Trump, such as his support for a database of all Muslim Americans.
Watch Carson’s Monday comments via ABC News:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 23, 2015