Donald Trump’s insistence that he saw one or more television news stories about Muslims in Jersey City celebrating the collapse of the Twin Towers in September 11 provoked outrage on the left. Among others, the Washington Post’s fact checker, Glenn Kessler, awarded Trump four Pinocchios, claiming that his assertion was “outrageous.” I wrote about the controversy here, agreeing that Trump exaggerated–there was no evidence that thousands of Muslims celebrated–but that Kessler was also wrong in dogmatically denying that there was any evidence of any such reaction to the 9/11 attacks. The controversy has continued from there, as Trump has doggedly insisted that he saw a television report that was the basis for his statement.
Now, someone has found the TV news report that Trump probably was talking about. It is from a local station in New York and was broadcast on September 16, 2001. The report confirms that Muslims were observed celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, and says that eight were arrested. This is consistent with newspaper accounts that were published at the time, including one in the Washington Post:
So, as I have said repeatedly, Trump greatly exaggerated the number, but he was not wrong about the fact that there were some American Muslims, specifically in New Jersey, who cheered the 9/11 attacks. Final score: Trump, two Pinocchios; Kessler, two Pinocchios.