Trump said he was 'down there' at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, but there's no evidence he was ever closer than a few blocks away
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
- President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan 9/11 Victim Compensation bill into law at a White House ceremony on Monday morning, permanently replenishing the fund that aids first responders and their families who suffered in the September 11, 2001 attacks and the years after.
- At the signing, he also took a brief moment to say he was also at Ground Zero after the attacks.
- "I was down there also, but I'm not considering myself a first responder," Trump said.
- Trump has a troubled history talking about the 9/11 attacks where he's made several false statements.
- In this case, Trump's statement is true to an extent, according to Politifact, though no evidence has been presented that shows Trump being anywhere closer than a few blocks away in the days after 9/11.
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President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan 9/11 Victim Compensation bill into law at a White House ceremony on Monday morning, permanently replenishing the fund that aids first responders and their families who suffered in the September 11, 2001 attacks and the years after.
Trump praised the responders who attended for their heroism and sacrifice. But then he also took a brief moment to say he was there too.
"I was down there also, but I'm not considering myself a first responder," Trump said.
It's true to an extent.
The fact-checking website Politifact notes "it is accurate that Trump was at least near Ground Zero two days following the Sept. 11 attacks." According to Snopes, Trump gave TV interviews to NBC News and a German news outlet while standing near the site two days after the attacks.
But no evidence has been presented to the public that Trump was ever at Ground Zero itself.
The remark at the first responders' bill signing caused a bit of a stir online because Trump has had a troubled history talking about the 9/11 attacks, at various times making several false statements.
Notably, Trump has claimed that he saw thousands of people in New Jersey celebrating the attacks, which has been repeatedly proven false.
And at a 2016 campaign rally in Buffalo, Trump said he "helped a little bit" to clear the rubble from the wreckage of the Twin Towers. No evidence of that has ever come to light.
As the 9/11 attacks itself unfolded, though, Trump had a striking reaction. In a phone interview with a local TV station, he boasted that a skyscraper he owned was now the tallest building in downtown Manhattan.
"I mean, 40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually before the World Trade Center the tallest, and then when they built the World Trade Center it became known as the second-tallest, and now it's the tallest," he said at the time.
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