The Donald Trump 9/11 claims that have been dominating headlines for the last few weeks may have found their smoking gun. That’s at least what supporters of “the Donald” want you to think, and they’ve unearthed a local CBS News report from the time of the attacks to “prove” it.
In the video, which you can see in full below, the affiliate talks about a building in Jersey City where “swarms” of Muslims were celebrating the attacks on the World Trade Center that occurred on September 11, 2001.
From those “swarms,” conservative blog Breitbart points out, there were eight arrests.
For detractors of the Trump 9/11 claims, this isn’t a very large number compared to the “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating the attacks that Trump has charged.
This is a fact that Breitbart acknowledges; nevertheless, the site was undeterred.
“People are arguing falsely that the fact that only 8 suspects were apprehended contradicts the ‘swarm’ claim. Read it again,” says site contributor John Nolte.
He continued, “An ‘investigator’ told CBS about the ‘swarm.’ The fact that a certain number were brought into custody does not change the fact that there was a ‘swarm.’ The obvious impression is that of the ‘swarm,’ only eight were brought into custody. Eight people do not swarm on all those rooftops. They ‘gather.’ Look at the video of the rooftop and picture ‘swarming.'”
Before getting any further into the Trump 9/11 claims, you can see what Nolte is talking about in this video.
Obviously, there are problems with the claim. The first being that this is a smoking gun that the Trump 9/11 claims of “thousands and thousands” actually existed. If all the celebrators were atop the buildings at the time, it could be a stretch to think that thousands would be able to fit atop of them.
It would also be unusual that news crews missed those celebrations at the time as no footage exists — at least not depicting those numbers.
Also, “swarms” is a much less specific claim than what Donald Trump indicated in his original comments. “Swarm” also implies less about the number of revelers and more about their state of mind. A “swarm” could just as easily mean several people celebrating in a state of jubilation or ecstasy.
While disturbing that even three people would celebrate the attacks of 9/11, it’s hardly proof that there was the equivalent of a small town of people throwing a party over the bodies of thousands of dead Americans. That said, Nolte is likely right in how he frames the Breitbart piece.
The bigger issue for most of Trump’s supporters isn’t the exact number, but the fact that it was happening at all.
Seeing videos pop up like the one above is “vindication” for Trump in the eyes of his supporters because the media, for the most part, has framed the pushback against Trump as if he completely made up the fact these celebrations were happening contemporary to the World Trade Center attacks.
Clearly, there were celebrations happening; just not in the numbers that the Trump 9/11 claims set forth. (And mostly overseas.)
But the race may have reached a point where that doesn’t matter as much to voters since Trump’s poll numbers continue to hold firm in the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination in spite of the inconsistencies.
Fox News reports that Trump saw another bump recently and continues to lead the pack of hopefuls. Wrong though he may be, it’s not sinking him.
Also, the fact videos like the one above are turning up now gives Trump supporters hope that something more vindicating is coming soon.
And who’s to say it won’t? There’s still a lot of time between now and November, and the more “evidence” that can be unearthed between now and then, the easier it will be for Trump to turn his negatives into positives and to paint a clearer picture of media bias.
What do you think about the Trump 9/11 claims? Has the public seen all there is to see, or is Trump being more truthful than how he’s been depicted thus far?