Trump Says He “Spent A Lot Of Time” Helping 9/11 First Responders At Ground Zero, Former FDNY Chief Refutes Claim
President Donald Trump on Monday claimed he “spent a lot of time” with first responders at ground zero in New York City after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, although a fact-check reveals something different.
Trump’s comment came after he signed into law a bill intended to fund medical care for ailing 9/11 first responders, including firefighters and police officers, through 2092. Comedian Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host, was a key figure who pushed for the measure, which includes $10.2 billion in funding over the next 10 years.
“Many of those affected were firefighters, police officers and other first responders,” Trump said in the Rose Garden, surrounded by the responders. “And I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”
According to The New York Times, former New York Fire Department deputy chief Richard Alles disputed Trump’s claim of having been present at ground zero after the attacks in an interview with the newspaper.
“I spent many months there myself, and I never witnessed him,” said Alles, who was at the Rose Garden event on Monday. “He was a private citizen at the time. I don’t know what kind of role he could have possibly played.”
This follows another false comment about 9/11 Trump made early on during his 2016 presidential campaign. The former Apprentice host incorrectly claimed at the time that Muslims were celebrating in the streets of New Jersey after the planes hit the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York.
The Washington Post also recently noted that Trump made another false claim related to the 9/11 attacks just hours after the tragedy in September 2001. At the time, the real estate mogul claimed 40 Wall Street — a building he owned — was the “second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan” and that it was “the tallest” before the two World Trade Center buildings known as the Twin Towers were built. In fact, the Post noted, there were many other skyscrapers and tall buildings in downtown Manhattan that were taller than 40 Wall Street at the time.