Nate Jackson / February 18, 2016

Playing the 9/11 Card

What about Trump’s “hundreds of friends” who were killed?

Donald Trump habitually frames his opponents as “liars,” and indeed there were some whoppers – from Trump. For example, his assertion that George W. Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand and that there were no WMD in Iraq. We’ve thoroughly rebutted both far-Left campaign ads over the years — his rewrite of Iraq’s history just yesterday. So how about Trump and his 9/11 claims?

As Mark Alexander noted previously in Trump’s New York values, he has repeatedly and shamefully “invoked that Islamist attack and all its death and destruction as political fodder, using the murder of 2,606 people, including 72 police officers and 343 firefighters as a political shield.”

Trump played the 9/11 Card again in the most recent debate claiming: “I lost hundreds of friends.” We don’t doubt given his connections in the financial sector that he did know some people killed that day. But he seems to be using one of Barack Obama’s favorite tactics — standing on the caskets of innocents to make a political point. Trump has previously done this with his specious claim of watching as “thousands of people were cheering” in New Jersey on 9/11 or rebutting Ted Cruz by disgracefully invoking 9/11.

Reminiscent of his declining to cite his favorite Bible verse, Trump refuses to name any of those friends. Okay, it’s fair enough to not specifically drag them into the fray, but he doesn’t seem to have attended any funerals after 9/11 or any of the subsequent anniversary observances complete with reading the names of the deceased. And despite his campaign’s claims, it’s not clear that he actually contributed any money to 9/11-related charities. He did, however, give $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and he took $150,000 from the World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant program as a “small business” hurt by the attacks — a “small business” that brings in $26.8 million annually and occupies a $400 million building.

It’s certainly possible that Trump is telling the truth about losing hundreds of friends, but it seems to us more likely that this is just more empty bluster along the lines of “I have great relationships with everybody.”

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