MSNBC host slams Trump for his ‘vile lie’ about 9/11

Lawrence O’Donnell accused the former president of trying to ‘steal the grief’ of those who lost loved ones in 9/11

Martha McHardy
Wednesday 13 September 2023 16:44 BST
MSNBC host slams Trump for his 'vile lie' about 9/11

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MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell has slammed Donald Trump for his “vile lie” about 9/11, accusing the former president of trying to “steal the grief” of those who lost loved ones in the terror attack.

“Donald Trump has been lying about 9/11 since 9/11,” O’Donnell said on Monday night. “Here is Donald Trump’s most vile lie about 9/11.”

The MSNBC presenter then played a clip of Mr Trump claiming during a Republican debate that he “lost hundreds of friends” on 9/11 — a claim O’Donnell said was a lie.

“Donald Trump lost zero friends on 9/11,” he said. “Donald Trump attended zero funerals of 9/11 victims. Zero. But Donald Trump tried to steal the grief of all of the families who lost someone on 9/11.”

The former president later altered his claim to losing “many, many friends” in 9/11 in a subsequent appearance.

Noting that United Airlines Flight 93 was potentially headed for the US Capitol on the morning of 9/11, O’Donnell played footage of January 6 attackers breaking into the Capitol just steps away from a plaque honouring those aboard United Airlines Flight 93 who revolted and stopped al-Qaeda’s attack on the Capitol.

“In the 21st century, only two groups have tried to attack the United States Capitol: al-Qaida, led by Osama bin Laden, and Trump supporters, led by Donald Trump,” he said.

“Only the Trump attackers actually did damage to the Capitol.”

Mr Trump previously claimed he spent time at ground zero alongside firefighters and police officers.

“Many of those affected were firefighters, police officers and other first responders,” he said at a signing ceremony in 2019. “And I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”

However, according to Richard Alles, a retired deputy chief with the New York Fire Department, Mr Trump’s claims are exaggerated and he was not present at ground zero.

“I spent many months there myself, and I never witnessed him,” said Mr Alles, who was at the Rose Garden event. “He was a private citizen at the time. I don’t know what kind of role he could have possibly played.”

On the day of the attack, Mr Trump called into WWOR-TV to say that he had a window in Trump Tower that looked directly over the World Trade Centre.

As the buildings burned, the show’s anchors praised his real estate prowess in a wide-ranging interview. Mr Trump said that if he had decided to run for president in 2000, he would have taken a “hard line” on the perpetrators, and that he had “somebody down there” near the attack who had witnessed at least 10 people jumping out of the World Trade Centre towers.

He also discussed a building he had in the area.

“40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan and it was actually, before the World Trade Centre, was the tallest – and then, when they built the World Trade Centre, it became known as the second tallest,” Mr Trump said. “And now it’s the tallest.” (It was not.)

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