Americans across the nation should be outraged to learn that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been lying about his actions following the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks, which he infamously once called 7-11, for cheap political gain. An investigative report has compared Trump’s rhetoric with the facts on the ground – and the two are not even remotely in line with one another.
At issue is $150,000 granted to Trump by the government, which the President claimed was due to his generous help following the worst terrorist attack on American soil. In April 2016, Trump gave an interview to TIME magazine and boasted, “It was probably a reimbursement for the fact that I allowed people, for many months, to stay in the building and use the building and store things in the building.”
One can note Trump, even then, hedged his lie by saying “probably a reimbursement,” of which he was just so proud. “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” claimed Trump.
If Donald Trump is being thanked for his service to New York City following the 9/11 attacks, the individuals doing the alleged thanking can not be located. In fact, there is not a single person on the record ever thanking Donald Trump for allowing them, or their organizations, to use his property at 40 Wall St.
A simple search of records from the “Empire State Development Corporation“, which was in charge of administering the repayment for the recovery program, found that Trump was indeed reimbursed — but not for the reasons which he publicly stated.
In fact, Trump’s company requested reimbursement for “repair”, “cleanup”, and “rent loss.” Absolutely none of the records show Trump ever asked to be compensated for helping individuals, and there is absolutely zero evidence to substantiate Trump’s claim. What the evidence does show is Trump lied again – and this time his lies dishonor the 2,997 individuals who were killed on that horrific day.
Furthermore, even if Trump were telling the truth and the records magically disappeared, which they didn’t, there is still the lingering fact that the program recovery program was only for reimbursing businesses which suffered uninsured losses, and not for reimbursing individuals for their philanthropic work.
David Catalfamo, who was working with New York’s governor at the time George Pataki, helped to administer the program. He confirmed that Trump was lying and stated, “He’s clearly wrong. I saw him say that and he’s obviously wrong.” Catalfamo went on to describe how the program actually worked for everyone else outside of Trump’s warped version of reality, “It was not part of the program to give money away for the other ancillary stuff. The way the program worked was to help businesses cover for uninsured losses. Businesses came forward with their losses and we covered part of them.”
To add insult to injury, as if Trump dishonoring the 9/11 victims wasn’t enough, he also manipulated the system to receive that $150,000 from the government.
New York had fewer requirements to determine the definition of “small business”, and apparently Trump fell within those guidelines. So did Morgan Stanley and Bank of China, both multi-billion dollar corporations.
Billionaires leeching off funds which small businesses desperately needed to repair their operations is what individuals should remember about this debacle. Trump’s callousness in lying about his efforts, while knowing he essentially rigged the system to receive $150,000 is an illuminating point about Trump. He is willing to do anything to get ahead, even if it means stealing money from the 9/11 fund. Never forget.
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.