President Trump on Tuesday called on America to honor the fallen from 9/11 by fighting for freedom.
“We honor their sacrifice by pledging to never flinch in the face of evil and to do whatever it takes to keep America safe,” he intoned during a memorial ceremony at the crash site for Flight 93.
But in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks the president didn’t respond so selflessly, taking money from a program meant to help small businesses while lying about donating to help the attacks’ victims.
Trump, then a local business mogul with a major building just blocks from the World Trade Center, claimed he had made a $10,000 donation to the Twin Towers Fund, a charity set up by New York City to benefit the terrorists’ victims and their families.
But that wasn’t true, according to a review of documents conducted by New York City’s comptroller at the request of the New York Daily News in 2016.
Trump’s company also tapped into a program designed to help businesses in lower Manhattan stay afloat in the wake of the attacks, receiving $150,000 in state grants.r
Trump claimed he’d taken that money as repayment for allowing local businesses to operate out of his 40 Wall Street building near the crash site.
“It was probably a reimbursement for the fact that I allowed people, for many months, to stay in the building, use the building and store things in the building,” Trump told Time magazine in 2016.
“I was happy to do it, and to this day I am still being thanked for the many people I helped. The value of what I did was far greater than the money talked about, much of which was sent automatically to building owners in the area.”
Records from the Empire State Development Corporation, which administered the recovery program, show that Trump’s company asked for those funds for “rent loss,” “cleanup” and “repair” — not to recuperate money lost in helping people.
The Daily News reported on this as well in 2016.
Trump’s comments following the attacks have also drawn past scrutiny.
Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, Trump incorrectly claimed that his 40 Wall Street building was the tallest in the city following the fall of the twin towers — comments many took as inappropriate bragging.
“40 Wall street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually before the World Trade Center the tallest, and and then when they built the World Trade Center it became known as the second-tallest, and now it’s the tallest And I just spoke to my people, and they said it’s the most unbelievable sight,” he said.
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