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Donald Trump doubles down on his claim that he saw "thousands" of Muslims celebrating on 9/11.

Mark Wallheiser / Getty

Speaking yesterday at the rally in Birmingham, Alabama, where a Black Lives Matter protester was repeatedly kicked and punched by his supporters, Donald Trump said he watched “thousands and thousands of people ... cheering” on 9/11 in Jersey City, New Jersey. 

This morning, George Stephanopoulos asked Trump if he misspoke: 

As the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman notes, “It is not clear what Mr. Trump was referring to. ... A persistent internet rumor of Muslims celebrating in Paterson, New Jersey, was discounted by police officials at the time. A search of news accounts from the period shows no reports of mass cheering in Jersey City.” This morning, Steven Fulop, who was mayor of Jersey City on 9/11, tweeted, “Either [Donald Trump] has memory issues or willfully distorts the truth, either of which should be concerning for the Republican Party.” Appearing on Reliable Sources, George Washington University’s Frank Sesno was curt: “It didn’t happen.” 

Call it Islamophobic fan fiction: Trump is dramatizing chain letters now.