Chris Christie Says Trump's Claims That 'Thousands' Cheered in NJ on 9/11 'Didn't Happen'

Christie was asked about Trump’s claim in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Monday.

November 30, 2015, 6:47 PM

— -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie adamantly refuted Donald Trump's claims that "thousands" of people cheered in New Jersey after the 9/11 attacks -- saying today that it "didn't happen."

The remarks came after Christie was criticized last week for not strongly condemning Trump’s claims.

“It didn’t happen and the fact is, people can say anything, but the facts are the facts, and that didn’t happen in New Jersey that day and hasn’t happened since,” Christie told reporters today at a campaign stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Last week, Christie said he didn't recall any Muslims celebrating in New Jersey, but did not deny Trump's statements outright.

"I do not remember that,” Christie said at the time. “It’s not something that’s part of my recollection. I think if it had happened, I would remember it, but there could be things I forget too, but I don’t remember that.”

On Monday, Christie explained that he was not trying to “hedge” by saying he didn’t remember anything and reminded reporters that the day of the attacks, his primary focus was on determining the safety his wife and brother, who were both in lower Manhattan at the time of the attacks.

“I said I didn’t remember it, it wasn’t me trying to hedge anything, it was me telling the truth, and I said I think even that day if it had happened I’m pretty sure I’d remember it,” Christie said.

Asked by a reporter if Trump’s comments should disqualify him from being president, Christie said the decision about a candidate’s qualifications should be left to the voters.

“The only thing that disqualifies anyone from being president is not getting enough votes or not being a us citizen or 35, other than that, nothing disqualifies you," Christie said. “I'm not going to get into all that stuff … the American people should decide what this should be."

Following a meeting at Trump Tower with several African American church pastors, Trump told ABC News' Tom Llamas that Christie should be "careful with what he says."

"He didn't say that the other day. He was very weak the other day," Trump said Monday in response to Christie's comments. "He said it like, well, he doesn't know. And now I guess he feels a little bit emboldened. He must be careful with what he says."

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated that Christie’s remarks about not remembering people cheering on 9/11 were said today. They were made last week.

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