A few months ago, while giving a speech before signing the 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Bill, Donald Trump very carefully did and did not call himself a first responder. I can’t even stand to include the video again because it’s so offensive, especially while signing such a bill. But Trump has NEVER been above using 9/11 for his personal politics.
Now that children who were born on the day of the attacks are eligible to vote — that math make you feel old? — it’s still hard to imagine how Trump could be so insensitive.
On the last anniversary of that fateful day, President Trump helpfully did some math of his own for America:
17 years since September 11th!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2018
He was actually right, too. Eighteen minus one is, indeed, seventeen. It’s more than a little amazing, however, that he has the capacity to remember that the most infamous September 11th was actually in 2001. He can’t seem to remember much else correctly about the time, or where he was when it happened. And he’s out of fingers, but he still has a few toes, so he should be able to figure out it’s not been 18 years.
September 11th is a vision burned into the memory of America. When we see a bumper sticker that says “Never Forget” on it, we sometimes almost wish we could. I personally was in my home watching on television, as almost everyone in the country was when the second plane hit the tower. I didn’t even see the first one, because I’m on the west coast and I was getting my little girls ready for school.
Donald Trump can’t quite decide where he was on 9/11. He’s never settled on the most effective narrative to use to tell his story. He told a crowd in Columbus, Ohio in November 2015 that he watched the attacks from the window of his apartment in New York:
Many people jumped and I witnessed it, I watched that. I have a view — a view in my apartment that was specifically aimed at the World Trade Center.”
Of course, Trump Tower is four miles away from where the twin towers stood, so there’s little chance that he actually saw anything if he was at home. Was he in Jersey City, watching Muslims cheer as the towers came down, as he so infamously said? That was debunked long ago.
The biggest claim Trump ever made, however — the way he made 9/11 all about himself as he does with everything — took place at a campaign rally in Buffalo, NY in April of 2016. He told the crowd gathered there that he was there at the scene. Many people focus on the fact that he called the day “7/11” by accident, but the fact that he said he was present is far more egregious.
It’s very close to my heart, because I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen down on 7/11, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down.”
No, of all the places we know Donald Trump wasn’t on 9/11, it’s right down in the thick of it. But even THAT isn’t the most self-aggrandizing thing he said that day. Besides insinuating that the victims of 9/11 were more important than the military victims at Pearl Harbor, aside from the fact that he bragged about how his building was now the tallest on the New York skyline after WTC came down, Trump said he helped at Ground Zero:
I was there, and I watched, and I helped a little bit … You didn’t know what was going to come down on all of us.”
Trump is clearly saying that he was personally there in the debris, picking concrete and searching for bodies with the first responders.
That’s unforgivable. Watch:
This year, Donald Trump was at it again, once again claiming that after the second building came down, he and some men who worked for him went down to Ground Zero, and like everyone else there, “tried to help.” He keeps making the same false claim, over and over, because he knows that 9/11 was one of the defining moments in American history, and he wants his name to be part of that.
Here he is just today:
Featured image via screen capture
Like what you see here? Join the discussion on Facebook over at Americans For Sanity!