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Trump defends 9/11 claim, demands apology from critics

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on November 23, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. (AFP photo)

US presidential candidate Donald Trump is not backing down from his controversial claim that “thousands of people” in Arab Muslim communities in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001.

The Republican frontrunner told an NBC News reporter on Monday night that he has "the world’s greatest memory" and everybody knows about this.

Trump insisted that his claims were valid and flaunted the support he said he received on his Twitter page.

“He was adamant,” NBC News reporter Katy Tur told MSNBC after talking to the billionaire real estate mogul on telephone.

Earlier in the day, Trump demanded apologies from those people who dared to doubt his recollection of the 9/11 attacks.

“I want an apology,” he tweeted. "Many people have tweeted that I am right.”

Trump provoked a controversy by making repeated claims that he saw thousands of Arab Muslims in New Jersey cheering the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

Trump first said on Saturday that Arab people cheered on 9/11 speaking at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama.

“[The Twin Towers] came tumbling down,” he said. "And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands of people were cheering as the building was coming down.”

Commenting to Press TV on Monday, American scholar Dr. Kevin Barrett said Trump’s claim is “factually challenged when he talks about the Arabs celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11th.”

“But he in fact is referring to a true story, which is that Israeli spies working for the intelligence agency Mossad were in fact arrested after they were caught celebrating the September 11th attacks,” the scholar said.

“They were set up to film the World Trade Center attacks before the first plane hit. They wildly celebrated the flaming and then exploding Twin Towers. They photographed themselves flicking cigarette lighters in front of the burning and exploding buildings,” he added.  

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