At a signing ceremony for a bill establishing a permanent 9/11 first responders victims fund, Trump declared to assembled first responders that “I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.” He paused briefly for applause. When there was none from the first responders in the audience, who knew he was lying, he moved on.
This claim, that he was there helping at ground zero, is not a new one. In a 2016 campaign rally in Buffalo Trump (referring to the attack as “7/11”) claimed he “helped a little bit” to clear the rubble. A complete lie. Trump even tried to present this total lie as a circumstance where he placed himself in great danger:
“Everyone who helped clear the rubble — and I was there, and I watched, and I helped a little bit — but I want to tell you: Those people were amazing. Clearing the rubble. Trying to find additional lives. You didn’t know what was going to come down on all of us — and they handled it.”
Trump’s despicable lies about 9/11 continued. In a Republican debate he claimed to have lost hundreds of friends on 9/11. By the next day Trump sought ambiguity, changing “hundreds” to “many, many friends.” Trump did not lose a single friend on 9/11. No person associated with him has ever been identified as a victim. He did not attend a single 9/11 victim’s funeral. As testimony to the thin ice he knows he is on with that lie, he only repeated it those two times.
To whip up hate for groups demagogues need to lie about them. Most common is to fabricate outrages committed by a group you desire to target for hate. Hitler lied about outrages committed by Jews.
Stealing that strategy, to support his plans to ban all Muslims from entering the country and a government database where all Muslims would be registered, Trump lied about outrages committed by Muslims. He falsely said he saw thousands of Muslims in NY and NJ dancing in the streets celebrating 9/11.
What did Trump do on 9/11? He got on the radio and boasted about how his building was now, once again, the tallest in Manhattan.
“Forty 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.” — Donald Trump
Thousands of Muslims never celebrated 9/11 by dancing in the streets of NY. However, Trump celebrated on radio how the tragedy restored his building to the tallest in Manhattan.
How can Trump’s backers continue to support him through all these lies regarding the greatest American tragedy of the 21st Century? They are flaming hypocrites, all of them.