Trump on Muslim claim: ‘I’m not going to take it back’

Updated 1:55 PM EST, Mon November 30, 2015
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Story highlights

Donald Trump says he won't take back his claim that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11

Trump said he saw reports of those celebrations on television at the time

(CNN) —  

Donald Trump is insisting he was right that thousands of Muslim-Americans in New Jersey celebrated 9/11, despite being confronted with lack of evidence he’s correct.

For the second weekend, the Republican presidential front-runner repeated his assertion, despite city leaders and law enforcement officials saying large-scale public celebrations never happened, in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.

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“I have a very good memory, Chuck. I’ll tell you, I have a very good memory. I saw it somewhere on television many years ago and I never forgot it – and it was on television, too,” Trump said.

The real estate mogul claimed he’s heard reports of the celebrations in different New Jersey cities. He said his staff is looking for clips of television reports from the time that will prove his claim.

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“I’ve heard Jersey City. I’ve heard Paterson. It was 14 years ago,” Trump said. “But I saw it on television, I saw clips, and so did many other people – and many people saw it in person. I’ve had hundreds of phone calls to the Trump organization saying, ‘We saw it. There was dancing in the streets.’ ”

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Trump also suggested the celebrations would have occurred because Muslims everywhere cheered the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

“You have a huge Muslim population between Paterson and different places and Jersey City – an unbelievable, large population,” he said, adding Muslims at soccer games and “all around the world” celebrated the attacks.

“Why wouldn’t it have taken place? I’ve had hundreds of people call in and tweet in on Twitter saying that they saw it and I was 100% right,” Trump said. “I saw it and so many people saw it, Chuck. So why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back.”

Trump also made another claim: That President Barack Obama’s plans of allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States in the 2016 fiscal year is actually drastically lower than what Obama truly has in mind.

“I have it upon a certain amount of knowledge – I’m very friendly with a lot of people on both sides – that Obama’s plan is 200,000 to 250,000,” Trump said.

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