New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday denied businessman Donald Trump's recent claim that "thousands and thousands" of Muslims in his state celebrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"I don't recall it happening. I don't think it did," Christie, a Republican presidential hopeful, told Fox News' Bret Baier. "As I said before, if that had happened, I would have recalled it, and I don't."
Trump, the GOP front-runner, last week claimed he saw television news footage of "thousands and thousands of people in Jersey City cheering" the 2001 terrorist attacks. But there is no evidence to support that claim, and PolitiFact gave it a "Pants on Fire" rating.
Other GOP presidential contenders also have said Trump's claim is dubious.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Tuesday joined those pushing back on Trump's statement.
"I don't recall that," Bush told reporters asking about Trump's contention at a campaign stop in South Carolina. "There wasn't any cheering. That would have been on television. That would have been recorded. This is just wrong. There were -- what I remember was a lot of peaceful Muslims that were disheartened and aggrieved and sad and angry, just as every other American was as well."
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on Monday initially backed Trump, saying he remembered seeing the TV footage. But later in the day, Carson's campaign walked back the statement, saying he had confused New Jersey with the Middle East.
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