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 (@Wolfe321) September 11, 2018
On 9/11/01, as the debris was still warm and thousands were dead or missing, Trump gave an interview about the horrors of the day as a Manhattan resident and businessperson. When asked whether his building at 40 Wall Street had suffered any damage, this was his response: pic.twitter.com/ogWcDLioGl
— Kingdome Turf (@KingdomeTurf) September 11, 2018
Trump’s reaction to 9/11 perfectly embodies who he is: he lied about Muslims celebrating the attack in an effort to vilify; he bragged about the size of his building; and he took $ meant to help small businesses devastated by the attack in a show of greed https://t.co/VbG0FsYXAM
— Michelle (@Michell82968785) September 11, 2018
Lest we ever forget
— The Emerald Serpent🐍 (@Izmeina666) September 11, 2018
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 (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2011
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 (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2013
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.