Donald Trump wins fact-checker's 2015 Lie of the Year award for 9/11 claims

Donald Trump has won the 2015 Lie of Year award for saying thousands of American Muslims cheered in New Jersey when the Twin Towers fell on 11 September 2001.

Politifacts, a Pulitzer-prize winning fact checking website, awarded the Republican frontrunner the (dis)honour for the statement to a rally in Birmingham, Alabama on November 21:

I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down.

And I watched in Jersey City, NJ, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.

When confronted by ABC News anchor, George Stephanopoulos, over his comment, Trump said: "It was on television. I saw it, it was well covered at the time, George.

"Now, I know they don't like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time.

There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good.

Politifacts searched extensively for press coverage of New Jersey Muslims celebrating the 9/11 attacks between September and December 2001.

They only found two articles - the first by the Associated Press describing rumours of New Jersey 9/11 rooftop and tail gate parties as "unfounded".

The second piece by the Washington Post said police had questioned people regarding the alleged celebrations but did not quote a source. Politifacts found no evidence of such allegations being followed up.

Previous winners of the award include Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

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