Donald Trump established his foreign policy platform on the inflammatory premise that Muslims "hate" the United States.
Early in his campaign, he repeated a long-debunked myth: After the 9/11 attacks, Trump said, Muslims in New Jersey poured out onto the streets, celebrating the death of Americans.
"I watched in Jersey City, NJ, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down," Trump said in November. "Thousands of people were cheering."
It’s a story that has been disproven time and time again. Now, in light of the mass shooting in Orlando by a gunman who reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS, Trump revived the story to prove he was "right" about Muslims and 9/11.
Trump shared a story from the New York Post — citing reporting originally from the Washington Post — recounting stories from former classmates of the gunman, Omar Mateen, who recalled him "saying some really rude stuff. Stuff like, 'That’s what America deserves.'"
I thought people weren’t celebrating? They were cheering all over, even this savage from Orlando. I was right. https://t.co/DrVa65X9rI— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2016
Trump has a fixation on being right, especially when it pushes his narrative
Trump has spread a vast number of falsehoods throughout the campaign — especially when it comes to his immigration policy.
In the case of Muslims allegedly cheering 9/11, several outlets proved Trump wrong almost immediately: The Washington Post reported Trump was not in New Jersey on 9/11; the mayor of Jersey City and the police commissioner of Paterson, New Jersey, said there were no cheering throngs in their town.
But Trump, in Trump fashion, continues to repeat it, grabbing onto one instance of fabricated hatred to define a community and ultimately validate his past claims. This isn’t the first time Trump has touted how "right" he's been with the Orlando shooting, thanking his supporters for congratulating him on being "right on radical Islamic terrorism."