Posted November 29, 2015 14:19:11

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has reframed his claim that he saw Muslims in New Jersey cheering the September 11 attacks by asserting the sentiment was shared worldwide.

Important points

  • Donald Trump does not repeat claim Muslims in New Jersey cheered September 11 attacks at rally in Florida
  • Alternatively, Trump mentioned Muslims worldwide “had been going totally wild”
  • Trump had been under fire for the claim as well as for appearing to mock a disabled reporter
  • Trump has noticed a sharp downturn in opinion polling in the last week

Mr Trump came beneath fire a week ago for saying he watched thousands of folks in Jersey City cheer the World Trade Centre’s implosion. Truth checkers debunked his claim.

At a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, on Saturday (neighborhood time), Mr Trump instead mentioned: “Worldwide, the Muslims were completely going wild.”

To back up his claims of seeing spectators celebrate 9/11, Mr Trump cited a 2001 Washington Post article that described authorities detaining a number of men and women in Jersey City who had allegedly celebrated the attack on rooftops with views of the site.

The report was written by Serge Kovaleski, who has a disability and now writes for the New York Times.

The Post write-up did not say the authorities’ allegations had been corroborated and Kovaleski has stated in interviews since Mr Trump cited his article that he has no recollection of his reporting generating evidence of hundreds or thousands of men and women celebrating.

In his speech, Mr Trump sought to distance himself from appearing to have mocked the reporter for the duration of an occasion Tuesday evening.

“I would never ever mock a particular person that has a disability,” he told the cheering crowd.

“I am telling you, I would by no means do it.”

Trump a vocal sceptic of Muslims living in the US

Mr Trump has been amongst the most vocal of the Republican candidates in raising scepticism about Muslims living in the United States.

When prompted by a reporter, he stated he would not oppose producing a national database that tracks Muslims in the nation.

Donald Trump and disabled journalist Serge Kovaleski Photo: Donald Trump (L) has been accused of mocking disabled journalist Serge Kovaleski (R), who now writes for the New York Instances. (YouTube/Facebook)

The controversial remarks might be taking a toll on Mr Trump, who has observed his support in Reuters/Ipsos opinion polling of Republican voters nationally take a sharp downturn in the past week.

In the previous 5 days, he dropped 12 points from 43 per cent to 31 per cent, though he continues to hold a wide lead more than his competitors.

With reports mounting of Mr Trump’s rallies developing rough, the candidate urged his audience to be polite to a heckler who briefly brought the Sarasota occasion to a halt.

“Be nice to the person. Do not hurt the particular person,” he instructed the crowd, which cheered him loudly when he told safety personnel to escort the heckler from the space.

“Do you see how diplomatic I’ve turn out to be?”

The race ahead of the November 2016 presidential election has taken a sharp turn toward focusing on terrorism in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris two weeks ago.

Reuters

Subjects: globe-politics, government-and-politics, us-elections, united-states

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