Donald Trump Gaining Strength Despite Questionable Comments

Donald Trump under fire for saying some N.J. residents celebrated Sept. 11.

“I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down,” he said in a speech Saturday. “Thousands of people were cheering.”

Then Trump doubled-down Sunday on his assertion to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.”

“It was well covered at the time, George,” Trump said. “There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down.”

The Washington Post fact-checker called the claim “outrageous” and gave Trump four “Pinocchios,” its worst rating. Meanwhile, the independent fact-checking website, Politifact, concluded: “Trump’s recollection of events in New Jersey in the hours after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks flies in the face of all the evidence we could find. We rate this statement Pants on Fire.”

(Several media organizations have been unsuccessful in trying to verify Trump’s assertion.)

But rather than rattle his supporters, the questionable comments seem to embolden them.

But the Sept. 11 claim wasn’t the only controversial one the New York real estate mogul made in recent days. Trump, 69, tweeted Sunday afternoon this image of a masked man holding a gun along with several statistics about homicides by race.

And his supporters are sticking by his side.

Almost half of Republicans also back Trump as the candidate who could best bring change to Washington, more than doubling Carson, his next closest rival. Trump also leads Republican rivals on other issues like the economy.