22 years on from the horrific 9/11 attacks of 2001, video footage has resurfaced of then real-estate owner Donald Trump bragging about the size of his property in the aftermath of the attacks which changed not just the US, but the world.
Hours after the collapse of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, Donald Trump was on the phone with New Jersey’s local TV channel, WWOR. He spoke to broadcasters about the tragic events of the day before shifting the focus to himself and his property.
In a bizarre moment, the future President began bragging about the size and height of one of his properties. Just a minute into the phone interview, he claimed he was now the owner of the tallest building in lower Manhattan.
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He said: “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.”
However, multiple fact-checkers later pointed out that his claims at having the tallest building in lower Manhattan were simply not true. The Wall Street building had not been the tallest building in lower Manhattan in the 1970s, when the Twin Towers were constructed, nor was it the tallest in the area following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
At the time when Trump had got on the phone for the interview, both of the Twin Towers had collapsed after planes hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists smashed into them. Two other planes also crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC and into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board. In total, almost 3,000 people lost their lives in the attacks.
Mondadori Portfolio/Archivio Marco Piraccini/Marco Piraccini/Mondadori via Getty)
The interview had begun with a more expected focus, with Trump explaining what he saw that day. He said: “I have a window that looks directly at the World Trade Center, and I saw this huge explosion. I was with a group of people. I really couldn’t even believe it.
“And even, I think, worse than that, for years I’ve looked right directly at the building. I’d see the Empire State Building in the foreground and the World Trade Center in the background. And now I’m looking at absolutely nothing. It’s just gone. And it’s just hard to believe.”
But it appeared Trump’s mind wandered elsewhere when it came to his interview. Instead of talking about the tragedy that had unfolded, as he said, right in front of his very eyes, he instead chose to complain about the closure of the New York Stock Exchange.
AFP via Getty Images)
“I was so disappointed when they closed the stock exchange, but of course, at some point, you just had no choice,” the future President said. “You want to just say, ‘The hell with it, you’re going forward, nothing’s gonna change’. But the fact is, something has changed very dramatically.”
Trump was also criticised for claiming to be a first responder in 2019. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 18th anniversary of the attack, Trump told his own 9/11 story – claiming he went straight to Ground Zero to “help in any little way [he] could”. But first responders who spent months at the devastating scene, including retired New York Fire Department Deputy Chief Richard Alles, said he never saw Trump there.
He also faced criticism for falsely claiming to have seen Muslims celebrating the attack. Now, on the 22nd anniversary of the attack, the clip of Trump bragging about his property has resurfaced again as a reminder of what the future President was doing and saying on what’s gone down as one of the darkest days in US history.