His fans never stop looking for more evidence to back him up. They think they have a new smoking gun.
They don't, but here it is. Flagged by some guy on Twitter, touted at a right-wing blog called the Last Refuge (otherwise known as the Conservative Treehouse), and brandished exultantly in a couple of Free Republic threads, it's a column by Fred Siegel that appeared in the New York Post on September 14, 2001, under the headline "The Issue Is Radical Islam." It's not available in the Post's archives (the Conservative Treehouse blogger speculates that it was "scrubbed," for some sinister reason), but it can found in the Internet Archive (here). It reads in part:
Here in New York, it was easy to get angry listening to Egyptians, Palestinians and the Arabs of nearby Paterson, N.J., celebrate as they received word of the murderous attacks in New York and Washington.Trump is right! Suck it, libtards!
First point: Siegel doesn't say there were "thousands" celebrating. Second point: Siegel doesn't say he saw this. He's not a reporter. He's known as a historian -- he teaches at Cooper Union -- but he's better known as a guy who applies a veneer of intellectualism to the usual right-wing boilerplate, as a New York Post columnist, as the author of a book on Rudy Giuliani that the far-from-liberal New York Sun called "hagiography," and as a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute. Siegel writes for the Institute's City Journal, where his recent scholarly contributions have borne titles such as "De Blasio's 'Reforms' Will Keep More NYers Dependent on Taxpayers"; "Ferguson Fury: Activists, Journalists Stuck in 1960s Racial Resentments"; "Twilight of the Left"; and "How Public Unions Took Taxpayers Hostage."
So, um, not exactly an agenda-less observer. Siegel is a partisan hack, and he wasn't even claiming that he personally saw any Muslims celebrating on 9/11, in person or on TV. He cites no source.
But the right will call this a smoking gun. And Trumpites will continue to embrace their hero.
Oh, and Trump got more backup yesterday from one of his press agents on Fox & Friends:
Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy defended Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s claim that thousands of New Jersey Muslims celebrated on 9/11, saying that he knew people who saw it in person and that he saw it on television.Doocy swears his neighbors swear they saw the celebrations! That's all the proof I need!
“I actually remember things like that,” Doocy insisted. “I remember, because I live one town away from one of the towns where, according to my neighbors, they saw it with their own two eyes, there were people celebrating.”
“I also remember there was video on television,” he said. “I don’t remember if it was from that town or from New Jersey. Nonetheless, Donald Trump says there are a lot of people out there who have verified the idea of his story.”
The clip is below. Stick around for "straight news" anchor Bill Baier saying, "Did it happen in New Jersey? Of course. Did thousands and thousands of people do it? I don't know if we've backed that up." We just can't tell! Trump could be absolutely right!
Look at the editorial I was just sent from the NY Post on 9/14/01 - 3 days after collapse of WTC. Any apologies? pic.twitter.com/b6DKEOk8Px— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2015