Brow Beat

Green Book’s Writer Claimed Trump Was Right About New Jersey Muslims Cheering 9/11

Nick Vallelonga holding his Golden Globes.
Screenwriters cheering in Beverly Hills on 1/6. Rich Fury/Getty Images

Green Book screenwriter Nick Vallelonga, who based his film on his father’s experiences chauffeuring concert pianist Don Shirley around the segregated south, was already embroiled in controversy after Shirley’s family accused him of writing a “symphony of lies.” Now the screenwriter, who has vociferously defended his script’s honesty, is facing new accusations of misrepresenting the past: Back in 2015, Vallelonga claimed on Twitter to have seen “Muslims in Jersey City cheering when the towers went down” in a tweet sent to Donald Trump, who was then seeking the Republican presidential nomination:

A tweet from Nick Vallelonga reading "@realDonaldTrump 100% correct. Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news."

Vallelonga has since deleted his Twitter account; we have reached out for comment. His tweet to Trump followed a week in which Trump had said that he would consider closing down American mosques and bring back waterboarding, and egged on the supporters who assaulted a protestor at one of his rallies. It was also a week in which Trump repeated the vile lie that Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center collapsed. In a slow-motion version of later presidential tweetstorms, Trump spent the week demanding apologies, yelling about the media, and retweeting anyone who said anything nice about him.
(This was before Trump was forced to become more circumspect about retweets after repeatedly retweeting white supremacists.) Here’s a representative example of the types of sources Trump was having to rely on to back up his story: Alex Jones’ Infowars:

Vallelonga, who just won a Golden Globe for writing a movie about race relations in America, appears to have lost a contest Alex Jones won, in which the prize was Donald Trump’s attention. Well, every biopic needs a low point.