17 years ago, President Donald Trump had an interview on September 11, 2001 , where he boasted about the fact that his building had just become the tallest in Lower Manhattan after the collapse of the Twin Towers during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Trump phoned into New Jersey’s WWOR-TV/UPN 9 News on 9/11 to discuss the horrific attacks that had taken place just hours earlier. During the conversation, Trump can be heard commenting that his building at 40 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,” he continued.
Trump’s entire conversation with the news station lasted around 10 minutes. He also recalled seeing the explosion from him office window, and noted, “It’s just gone and it’s just hard to believe.”
Asked how New Yorkers could endure such a tragedy, Trump said, “The big thing that you really will have to do is never forget. You just can’t forget that something like this happened.”
He was further prodded about how he would have handled the attacks if he were president. Said Trump, “Boy, would you have to take a hard line on this. This just can’t be tolerated.”
This year, on the 17th anniversary of the terror attacks, the president came under fire for greeting supporters with a triumphant double fist pump as he arrived to a 9/11 memorial service.
Trump, 72, along with his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, 48, were in Pennsylvania, on their way to pay their respects to the fallen heroes of United Airlines Flight 93.
As more than one Twitter critic noted, Trump first marked Tuesday’s 9/11 anniversary “with an angry morning tweet about Russia and Hillary Clinton.”
Others criticized the tone of a tweet the president sent out on his way to the memorial event, which read, “17 years since September 11th!”
Last year, the president and his wife observed a moment of silence on the White House South Lawn to mark the 16th anniversary of the attacks.
During a ceremony at the Pentagon later in the day, Trump — who was joined by the first lady, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford — said, “Our values will endure. Our people will thrive. Our nation will prevail and the memory of our loved ones will never, ever die.”
“The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit but America cannot be intimidated,” Trump continued. “And those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle.”