Trump Takes Aim At New Jersey, Muslims & His Own Party

Photo: MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock.
This week, Donald Trump is back on top of the polls in the race to become 2016's Republican presidential candidate. As the frontrunner, he made headlines several times this weekend, following incidents at a Trump rally and in interviews, for his positions on issues including refugees, 9/11, race, waterboarding, and his own political party.

At a rally in Birmingham, AL, on Saturday, Trump declared that as president, he would want to have a database of all Syrian refugees entering the country and increase monitoring of Muslim-Americans. "I want surveillance of certain mosques, O.K.?" he said, according to the New York Times.

At the rally, Trump claimed that during the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11, he was in New Jersey. "And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering. So something’s going on. We’ve got to find out what it is."

Trump appears to be repeating a long-discredited report that Muslim residents in nearby Paterson, NJ, were celebrating the collapse of the towers. Local police have denied the story, and on Sunday, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop told ABC News, "Trump is plain wrong and he is shamefully politicizing an emotionally charged issue. No one in Jersey City cheered on September 11th," Fulop said. "We were actually among the first to provide responders to help in lower Manhattan. Trump needs to understand that Jersey City will not be part of his hate campaign."

The Alabama rally was also notable for what happened when a Black Lives Matter activist attempted to disrupt Trump's speech. The activist reportedly shouted the phrase and removed his sweatshirt to show off his T-shirt, also emblazoned with the words. As the crowd booed and Trump called to "get him the hell out of here," CNN footage shows some surrounding attendees hitting the protester. Police told CNN that no arrests were made and the protester did not require medical attention.

On Sunday morning, Trump appeared on ABC's This Week, where he told host George Stephanopoulos that he would reinstitute waterboarding as an accepted form of interrogation for the CIA.

"I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us," he 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."

The practice, which simulates the feeling of drowning, was declared torture by the U.N. and is no longer used by American agencies.

In addition to his regular jabs at Republican rival Jeb Bush and Democratic contender Hillary Clinton, Trump also potentially ticked off his own party in the ABC interview when he declared that he would not rule out a third-party bid for president.

"I'm going to have to see what happens," he said, despite the fact that he'd previously pledged not to run if he didn't get the Republican nomination. "I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly."

More from US News


R29 Original Series