When the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center fell on September 11th, Donald Trump used the tragedy to boast that, now, his building was the tallest in Manhattan.
Just when you think Donald Trump has hit the lowest point of truly tasteless and self-involved behavior, the past comes back to remind us that Trump has not always been the patriotic and upstanding American he pretends to be in order to win an election.
While the corpses of innocent men, women, and children, as well as the brave first responders who tried to save them,were still lying under the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York City, Republican nominee Donald Trump decided to capitalize on it by announcing to the public that it no longer stood in the way of him winning yet another prize for size: tallest building in Manhattan.
These remarks were unearthed by POLITICO reporter, Michael Krause on Saturday, one day before the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attack that rewrote American history and stains our national soul to this day.
Only hours after the attack, Trump agreed to do a phone interview with a local television station. As a prominent New York real estate developer, Trump’s comments about the disaster were pertinent when it came to the effect the tragedy would have on the city.
The subject of Trump running for president was even brought up at the time, and Alan Marcus, then working for television station WWOR, asked Trump how he would respond to the terrorist attack:
‘In the year 2000, Donald, you considered running for president. If you had done that, and if you had been successful, what do you think you’d be doing right now?’
‘Well, I’d be taking a very, very tough line. I mean, you know, most people feel they know at least approximately the group of people that did this and where they are. But boy, would you have to take a hard line on this. This just can’t be tolerated.’
Fair enough, as far as policy goes, but despite the dust and the dead strewn all over the financial district, Trump still couldn’t resist plugging his own brand. Referring to his own 71-story building only a few blocks away from the now decimated towers, Trump told Marcus that:
’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.
‘And now it’s the tallest.’
— Ess (@ScottyLiterati) September 11, 2016
Trump has capitalized on the September 11th attacks on a number of occasions as a way to sell his brand to an angry and fearful public. During even the early days of his campaign, he began recruiting what was then a more subtle Islamaphobic sector of the United States by claiming that he heard the cheers and celebrations of “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims as the towers fell.
Donald Trump also obtained recovery funds under false pretences after the attacks of 9/11. According to an expose published on Saturday by the New York Daily News, Trump lied about sheltering New York City citizens in his buildings. Instead, Trump filed a claim with the Empire State Development Corp. recovery program as recompense for loss of rents, cleanup, and repair of his properties. Donald Trump received $150,000 from the recovery program, which was intended to help small businesses get back into business, not large multi-billion dollar companies. Trump did not receive these funds for sheltering others after the attack as he has claimed, but to restore his own properties
Just when a large number of voters are convinced that Donald Trump is really thinking about when he can do for his country, they’re reminded that he is usually just wondering what his role as president can do for his bottom line. He’s already padded his own coffers by paying out campaign donations to his own companies as vendors for his campaign. What other income streams Donald Trump will be able to exploit as leader of the free world remains to be seen.
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