On September 11, 2001, Donald Trump, then just a New York real estate mogul, called into a New York TV news broadcast as the station aired footage of the World Trade Center attacks and claimed that his property at 40 Wall Street would now become the tallest building in the area.
“40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest — and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest,” he said. “And now it’s the tallest," Trump said to WWOR co-anchor Brenda Blackmon at the time.
That claim turned out to be false: According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, 70 Pine Street, at 952 feet, became the tallest building in the area after 9/11. Trump's building at 40 Wall Street is 927 feet tall, 25 feet shorter than 70 Pine Street.
Blackmon told The Washington Post yesterday that she'd been stunned by Trump's braggadocio.
“[Trump spokesman Alan Marcus] dialed him up, and that’s when [Trump] gave the answer he did, which stunned us at the time,” Blackmon said to The Post. “Any reaction I had, in the midst of everything that was happening, was, wow, that’s insensitive. It just was.”
Marcus, now president of the Marcus Group, a New Jersey-based public relations firm, said: “I didn’t like his line about having the biggest building in downtown. But that’s just how he talked. By Donald’s standards, he was probably very good. He was trying to behave.”
Trump's interview resurfaces each year, and the reactions this year––ones of digust––are no different.
This made me physically ill https://t.co/hkQTky0nlK— Lauren Wolfe (@Lauren Wolfe)1536666189.0
On 9/11/01, as the debris was still warm and thousands were dead or missing, Trump gave an interview about the horr… https://t.co/zdhTHGYGh4— Kingdome Turf (@Kingdome Turf)1536671617.0
Trump’s reaction to 9/11 perfectly embodies who he is: he lied about Muslims celebrating the attack in an effort to… https://t.co/aJfDtVm1Yi— Michelle (@Michelle)1536658359.0
Lest we ever forget Tallest building Smallest heart https://t.co/t5L3IYLXjb— The Emerald Serpent🐍 (@The Emerald Serpent🐍)1536668268.0
Trump would come under fire in 2015 after claiming that he witnessed Muslims celebrating the 9/11 attacks.
"Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering," he said at a rally in Alabama at the time.
Trump doubled down on the claim when pressed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, but reports of celebrations by Muslims in Jersey City are unconfirmed and uncorroborated.
In 2011, he claimed he'd foreseen the attacks, and even written about his premonition in one of his books.
I predicted the 9/11 attack on America in my book "The America We Deserve" and the collapse of Iraq in @TimeToGetTough.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1325177360.0
On the 12th anniversary of the attacks, he quoted himself, saying that he "would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date."
“@realDonaldTrump: I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.”— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1378944768.0
But that was all before he became president. Today, as president, Trump has garnered criticism for continuing to rail against Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian subversion of the 2016 presidential election.
Earlier this morning, Trump quoted two Fox News personalities who claimed the investigation has found "absolutely zero" to show Trump colluded with Russian operatives.
“We have found nothing to show collusion between President Trump & Russia, absolutely zero, but every day we get mo… https://t.co/tz4RGtPHwx— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536664115.0
He later quoted Fox News again, this time railing against former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page and their "Media Leak Strategy," a response to reports that the two had planned to leak messages to the media in an attempt to embarrass him.
New Strzok-Page texts reveal “Media Leak Strategy.” @FoxNews So terrible, and NOTHING is being done at DOJ or FBI… https://t.co/DrnNFjPIch— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536664759.0
Using a quote from Fox News veteran Lou Dobbs, he signaled his distaste for Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder...
“ERIC Holder could be running the Justice Department right now and it would be behaving no differently than it is.” @LouDobbs— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536666093.0
...before praising his own attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for his response to the 9/11 attacks. (Giuliani was the mayor of New York at the time.)
Rudy Giuliani did a GREAT job as Mayor of NYC during the period of September 11th. His leadership, bravery and skil… https://t.co/yIBrYloOFs— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536667148.0
The closest Trump came to memorializing those who perished on 9/11 came with the following tweet, in which he noted the amount of time that had passed:
17 years since September 11th!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536670690.0
The public response has not been kind:
@realDonaldTrump That’s it? No words of commemoration?— Dayle Smith-Pennor 🇺🇸 Patriot (@Dayle Smith-Pennor 🇺🇸 Patriot)1536673053.0
@realDonaldTrump Wait so we must never forget Rudy Giuliani on 9/11? I thought we were supposed to never forget the… https://t.co/RoIF82ts7t— Jeremy Newberger (@Jeremy Newberger)1536667952.0
@realDonaldTrump @LouDobbs Do you even know what this day is in American history? As soon as I opened my eyes toda… https://t.co/Q3EUUtLvJ5— Marilyn (@Marilyn)1536671124.0
@realDonaldTrump @FoxNews This is how Dear Leader remembers 9/11, by attacking American law enforcement.— Alfred Delp (@Alfred Delp)1536671038.0
@realDonaldTrump @SaraCarterDC @LouDobbs It's the anniversary of 9/11 plus there's a Category 4 hurricane barreling… https://t.co/UkmxClhGY1— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah))))1536665581.0
Dan Scavino, the president's social media maven, posted a photograph of Trump signing a Proclamation designating "Patriot Day 2018" to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11.
President Donald J. Trump signs a Proclamation at his desk in the Oval Office designating “Patriot Day 2018” to hon… https://t.co/24wf58rADz— Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸 (@Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸)1536663905.0
It's an odd time to be alive. The president is more concerned with evading an impeachment and a possible indictment. His former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has implicated him in a federal crime. He continues to threaten our top law enforcement agencies while discrediting the findings of our intelligence community. Calls for his resignation continue to mount amid the consensus that Russia not only interfered in our democratic process, and the growing realization that the leader of the United States is illegitimate. Consider: It's just another Tuesday in the White House and Trump has been showing us who he is for years.