Politics

Fox News Host Floats New Muslim Smear, Then Loses It On Twitter

Eric Bolling says there were reports Muslims had prior knowledge of 9/11. And that I'm a "juvenile hack" for calling him on it.

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Fox News host Eric Bolling made the startling claim on Tuesday that there were reports of Muslims in New Jersey being given advance notice of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks so they could watch the attacks from their rooftops.

The claim is a new spin on Donald Trump's — false — insistence that New Jersey Muslims celebrated the attacks.

"I remember specifically the news reports about Jersey City. They said people were on the roofs watching the planes fly in. They were tipped off prior to the thing," Bolling said. "And this was a narrative that was going on. I remember video. I don't remember if it was Pakistan or Paterson."

Bolling, a former commodities trader, said it is ultimately inconsequential whether "thousands" of American Muslims cheered the attacks or whether "a handful" did.

"There were claims that his group, his whole mosque, was cheering the planes actually, finally, doing what he tried to do in 1993. Whether or not it was a thousand, thousands, a few hundred, a handful. Who cares, there were Muslims," he added before being cut off to cries of "I care" from his co-hosts.

The comments were quickly shared by Trump campaign aide Dan Scavino on his Twitter account:

.@EricBolling shares what he remembers on 9/11/01, discussing @realDonaldTrump's claims. #Trump2016 cc: @JakeTapper

I then noted the comments in a series of tweets.

"They were on the rooftops watching (planes hit the WTC). They were tipped off prior to the thing." WHAT!? https://t.co/uYDFYwkv5C

Did this mofo really just say U.S. muslims were tipped off about planes hitting the WTC to watch it on their roofs https://t.co/uYDFYwkv5C

Here's the longer video of @ericbolling claiming U.S. Muslims were tipped off about 9.11 to watch on their rooftops. https://t.co/l5nMBLhPqP

And then Bolling kind of lost it.

But the line he was citing was in fact at the center of a different false conspiracy theory — one claiming that Israelis had advance knowledge of the attacks:

From the Fox News article he linked:

Other Leads

Fox News has confirmed that 2 weeks ago, American Airlines issued a memo to their employees to be on alert for imposter pilots after burglars broke into flight crews' rooms in Rome, stealing uniforms and ID badges.

The New York Times reported Thursday that a group of five men had set up video cameras aimed at the Twin Towers prior to the attack on Tuesday, and were seen congratulating one another afterwards.

The line cited has been at the center of Sept. 11, 2001, conspiracies for years — usually, as a Google search shows, to claim Israeli involvement in the attacks.

The men detained, as ABC News reported, were Israeli, not Muslim, as Bolling claimed.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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