People do not usually change. In fact, people tend to resist change as long as they can. That is why Donald Trump’s surprising sentiment immediately following the terrible 9/11 tragedy in New York is important to understanding who the man is beneath the caricature.
Think of Donald Trump and New York comes to mind. Think New York and the terrible memory of the 9/11 attack on the twin towers flashes across the brain. So what is Trump’s relationship with 9/11, exactly?
Clearly Trump isn’t shy. He is the only presidential candidate who dared touch the red-hot issue of blaming George W. Bush for 9/11. Brave or brash, Trump’s comment blasted a hole in the Bush press’ line that he kept us safe after 9/11.
‘What about during 9/11? I was there. I lost a lot of friends that were killed in that building. The worst attack ever in this country — it was during his Presidency.’
‘That’s [like saying] the team scored 19 runs in the first inning, but after that we played well. I don’t think so.’
Trump says if he is elected:
‘You will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center. ‘
‘It wasn’t the Iraqis. You may find it’s the Saudis.’
Then, Trump referenced the 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report, which are still classified:
‘They have papers in there that are very secret. But you will find out.’
During the first Republican debates, Trump said he saw thousands of Muslims in Jersey City cheering the attacks, which lit the fuel beneath the anti-Muslim sentiment.
Now, a German television crew interview of Trump at Ground Zero has surfaced. It was done just two days after the disaster. In the interview, Trump sounds shaken, but who wouldn’t be? But where are his comments about the thousands of cheering Muslims?
The German reporter said:
‘What kind of cost would you estimate to rebuild this area? How much money has been lost in the attack?’
Trump, the builder, estimated:
‘I would say fifteen to twenty billion dollars.’
The most recent report estimating of the actual cost to rebuild the area showed that Trump probably does know his business well:
‘The report says the World Trade Center redevelopment costs rose from a 2008 estimate of approximately $11 billion to the current estimate of approximately $14.8 billion.’
In the aftermath of 9/11, Trump applied for a grant meant to help small businesses. However, Trump was ineligible for federal aid. His grant application described the explosions’ damage to a building he owned. He employed 28 people there and had a total annual revenues of $26.8 million.
The grant defined “small business’ as a maximum of $6 million per year for lessors of non-residential buildings.
Even worse, he was caught in an interview about his building at 40 Wall Street, revealing it had not been damaged!
‘I have a lot of property down there, but it wasn’t, fortunately, effected by what happened to the World Trade Center. We will be involved in some form in helping to reconstruct.’
‘The location is such, and the importance of the monument is such that we have to rebuild, not necessarily in the form of the Two Towers, but something that’s very big and very majestic.’
In fact, the only charitable contribution Trump made after 9/11 was through the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a grand total of $1000, to the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Fund.
This Scientology program supposedly flushes ‘poisons from the body’s fat stores using an intensive regimen of jogging, oil ingestion, sauna, and high doses of vitamins, particularly niacin.’
Then, on April 9 of this year, Trump made an unexpected trip to the 9/11 Museum with no cameras or reporters. Michael Frazier, who is a spokesman for the museum, later said Trump made a $100,000 donation to it.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks had this to say about the tour:
‘They were incredibly impressed with the museum, a monument representative of all of the wonderful people who tragically lost their lives and the families who have suffered so greatly.’
Then there are the ‘New York values‘ that Texas Senator Ted Cruz may well wish he had never spoken, especially as the New York primary looms large. During a Trump rally on Wednesday, the billionaire said:
‘Remember when he started lecturing me on New York values like we’re no good? We all know people who died, and I’ve got this guy standing over there looking at me and talking to me about ‘New York values’ with scorn on his face, with hatred of New York.’
Trump went after his top republican opponent again:
‘This is what “New York values” are really all about.’
Trump is brash, out to make a buck, quick to take every advantage, and his own worst enemy at times.
Check out the video of Trump’s interview: