On the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, many are recalling an awkward interview with the then-businessman Donald Trump on that fateful day.
Though he is president today, Trump had slim political prospects in 2001. At the time, he was known as a businessman and a pundit, who frequented Howard Stern's radio shows and sometimes other broadcasts. As the nation watched the 9/11 attacks unfold in real time, he joined New Jersey televison station WWOR for a phone interview, which has resurfaced on this anniversary.
"40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest," he claimed falsely in the interview. He was referring to the Trump Building -- not to be confused with Trump Tower. "And then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it's the tallest."
As many have pointed out, Trump's claim was incorrect and, to many of the grieving families, insensitive. According to a report by Huffington Post, 70 Pine Street actually became the tallest building in the city after the terrorist attacks, measuring a full 25 feet taller than the Trump Building.
The interview also gave some insight into Trump's political thinking. He mused on how he would respond to the 9/11 attacks if he himself were president at the time.
"Well, I'd be taking a very, very tough line," he said. "I mean, you know, most people feel they know at least approximately the group of people that did this and where they are. But boy, would you have to take a hard line on this. This just can't be tolerated."
On Tuesdsay, the 17th anniversary of the attacks, the president travelled to Shanksville, Pennsylvania with First Lady Melania Trump, to visit the memorial for Flight 93. The plane was intended for a terrorist attack as well, yet 40 passengers and crew members forced their way into the cockpit to stop the atrocity, crashing the plane in the process.
"Departing Washington, D.C. to attend a Flight 93 September 11th Memorial Service in Shanksville, Pennsylvania with Melania. #NeverForget," the president tweeted. Later, he added: "17 years since September 11th!"