Donald Trump claims he saw "thousands and thousands" of people in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11

By Tierney McAfee
Updated November 23, 2015 02:35 PM
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Donald Trump had a busy weekend.

The GOP front-runner – who has widened his lead, according to a new national poll from FOX – was branded racist Sunday after he tweeted a graphic with fake and inaccurate statistics about murders in the United States that depicted black people as the biggest perpetrators.

The data claims to come from the Crime Statistics Bureau (which does not exist), and alleges that 81 percent of whites who are murdered are murdered by blacks, and 97 percent of blacks who are murdered are murdered by blacks – while also claiming that 1 percent of blacks are killed by police.

But official crime statistics for the U.S., including the racial breakdown of the victims and offenders for murders, are actually collected by the FBI and shared in an annual report, according to ThinkProgress. The 2015 report has not yet been released, but the statistics are pretty consistent from year to year.

The FBI’s 2014 report shows that 14 percent of white murder victims are murdered by a black person. And the percentage of blacks murdered by other blacks (89.9 percent) is comparable to the percentage of whites murdered by other whites (82.3 percent). Trump’s graphic, meanwhile, falsely claims that 97 percent of blacks are killed by other blacks, while only 16 percent of whites are killed by other whites.

Trump’s tweet didn’t sit well with his fellow Twitter users, many of whom declared him a racist and criticized him for sharing false information.

Nevertheless, Trump praised his own social media skills during a forum at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Friday, calling himself “the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters.”

“I understand social media,” he said, according to Politico. “Maybe better than anybody, ever. Somebody said I’m the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters.”

Donald Trump on Black Lives Matter Protester Who Interrupted Rally: ‘Maybe He Should Have Been Roughed Up’
Also on Sunday, Trump suggested that the Black Lives Matter activist who was physically attacked when he disrupted the real estate mogul’s speech at a campaign rally Saturday “should have been roughed up” because he was “so obnoxious and loud.”

Although Trump’s campaign said it “does not condone” the incident, the GOP hopeful sent a different message during a Fox News interview Sunday morning.

“Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said of the protester. “I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble.”

Half a dozen white Trump supporters were captured on camera shoving, punching and kicking the protester, 31-year-old Mercutio Southall, according to a video from CNN.

Donald Trump Says He’d Bring Back Waterboarding
Trump courted controversy once again on Sunday when, during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, he said he would “absolutely” bring back waterboarding as an accepted form of interrogation, particularly when it comes to ISIS.

“I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us,” Trump said. “What they’re doing to us, what they did to James Foley when they chopped off his head, that’s a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation.”

In the same interview, George Stephanopoulos confronted Trump about his recent claim that he saw “thousands and thousands” of people in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

“You know, the police say that didn’t happen and all those rumors have been on the Internet for some time. So did you misspeak yesterday?” Stephanopoulos asked the billionaire businessman in reference to comments he made during a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday.

“It did happen. I saw it,” Trump insisted.

“You saw that with your own eyes?” Stephanopoulos pressed.

“It was on television. I saw it. George, it did happen,” Trump said. “There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down – as those buildings came down. And that tells you something. It was well covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don’t like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good.”

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop released a statement blasting Trump’s claim, saying, “Trump is plain wrong, and he is shamefully politicizing an emotionally charged issue. No one in Jersey City cheered on September 11th.”

And that’s Trump’s weekend in a nutshell. But of course, there’s probably plenty more where that came from. After all, it’s only Monday.