LISTEN: Donald Trump on September 11, 2001 Says His Building at 40 Wall St: ‘Now It’s the Tallest’

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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Alan Jude Ryland @alanjryland

Alan is a writer and editor who lives in New York City. His work has been featured in such publications as Salon, The Advocate, Plus Magazine, George Takei Presents, The Huffington Post, Spoiled NYC, Towleroad, Distractify, Elite Daily, and 2 or 3 Things I Know About Film.