MEDIA

CNN's Van Jones Slams Donald Trump For 'Deliberately Stoking Fear' About Muslims

Other Republican candidates are distancing themselves from Trump's latest comments.

CNN commentator Van Jones blasted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday for asserting he saw a video of "thousands and thousands" of Muslims cheering in New Jersey after the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. 

"This is demagoguery. This is dangerous and somebody’s gonna go hurt some Muslim as a result of this kind of hatred, and it’s wrong," Jones told "Anderson Cooper 360" guest host John Berman and his fellow panel members.

Jones also criticized Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord, another participant in the segment, for defending the candidate regardless of the racist and derogatory things he says.

"This is just terrible. You have a presidential candidate who is deliberately stoking fear and smearing a whole population of people," said Jones, who formerly worked in the Obama administration.

Some of Trump's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination have commented on the unsubstantiated claim that Muslims in Jersey City were cheering on Sept. 11.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Sunday that he didn't remember that happening, according to NJ Advance Media.

"I don't recall that. I don't," he told reporters on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. "I do not remember that, and so it's not something that was part of my recollection. I think if it had happened, I would remember it, but, you know, there could be things I forget, too." 

Ben Carson, who initially said he had seen such news coverage, walked back his statement on Monday. He told ABC News he had misunderstood the questions when originally asked, and added that the video he had seen after the attacks on New York showed people celebrating in the Middle East, not in the U.S.

Trump's claim about Sept. 11 is one of several disparaging comments he has made about the Muslim community while campaigning. Last week, he called for the surveillance of mosques and said the government should keep a database of Muslims in the U.S.

 Watch the clip from "Anderson Cooper 360" above.

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