Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson agreed with GOP rival Donald Trump’s absurd assertion that he saw thousands of Muslims cheer as the World Trade Center towers crashed to the ground on Sept. 11, 2001, despite lack of video evidence that indeed happened.
Piggybacking off of Trump’s spotlighted and scrutinized comments, Carson told an ABC News reporter on Monday that he also saw the footage.
.@RealBenCarson tells me he "saw the film" of American Muslims cheering as the towers fell in New Jersey on 9/11.— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) November 23, 2015
"I saw the film of it, yes," Carson told press at a campaign event. When asked what film, he vaguely responded “the news coverage.”’
Yet after the immediate backlash, Carson walked back on his statements, saying he "was thinking of the Middle East, not New Jersey."
Carson camp says he doesn't stand behind comments & apologizes.Was thinking of Middle East, not New Jersey,camp says https://t.co/JVHh7VAYvt— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) November 23, 2015
Trump’s original remarks caused a wave of uproar and controversy last week when he claimed American Arabs were celebrating the tragedy.
“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 Monday, Trump linked his egregious comments to a Washington Post article from Sept. 18, 2001, stating that a number of people were detained for allegedly partying amidst the attacks.
Yet Politifact trumped Trump’s unreliable source, “The Post story includes no source for this information, and we found no evidence that any of these allegations ever stuck.”
The Daily Beast also reached out to a Washington Post reporter Serge Kovaleski, who denied Trump’s ludicrous claim.
"We did a lot of shoe leather reporting in and around Jersey City and talked to a lot of residents and officials for the broader story. Much of that has, indeed, faded from memory. But I do not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating. That was not the case, as best as I can remember."