Elections

Trump sticks by controversial 9/11 remarks, Christie says he’s wrong

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. AP

- Chris Christie says Donald Trump was flat wrong when he claimed that “thousands and thousands” of American Muslims in New Jersey were seen celebrating the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Trump’s claim has been debunked by fact checking groups and Christie, the New Jersey governor, told CNN on Monday that Trump’s claim was “just wrong. It’s factually wrong.

“Everybody else can figure out what they think is outrageous or not outrageous,” Christie said of Trump’s claim. “In the context of Donald, outrageous is a high bar."

But Trump said Christie -- who landed the endorsement over the weekend of New Hampshire’s influential Manchester Union Leader -- was going further than he had previously, when he said he didn’t “recall” any celebrations.

"He didn't say that the other day. He was very weak the other day," Trump told reporters after a meeting with black pastors at Trump Tower in New York City. “I guess he feels a little bit emboldened. He must be careful with what he says."

Earlier in the day, Trump said he didn’t know how to answer the question of whether he believes Islam is an inherently violent or peaceful religion, instead suggesting there was “something going on.”

“I don’t know that that question can be answered,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “It could be answered two ways. It could be answered both ways. But there’s something going on there. There’s a lot of hatred coming out of at least a big part of it. You see the hatred. We see it every day. You see it, whether it’s in Paris, or whether it’s the World Trade Center….

“There’s something nasty coming out of there,” Trump said. “You could answer it any way you want. But at least we have to know the problem.”

Related stories from McClatchy DC

  Comments