President Donald Trump is expressing outrage now about 9/11 through a controversial attempt to use the tragedy to slam Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), but his grief wasn’t quite so obvious right after the terrorist attacks. At the time, Trump gloated that his building at 40 Wall St. had become the tallest in New York City with the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
“This guy has no moral standing ever to try to use our greatest day of national pain for his political gain,” Begala said.
He was responding to a video Trump posted Friday on Twitter that juxtaposed comments by Omar, a Muslim, with footage of the 9/11 attacks. Trump tweeted: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
But Begala recalled Trump’s reaction the morning of the attack: It was all about himself.
“Before the bodies had been cleared or identified, before the wounded had been treated, [Trump] went on television ... and he said: ‘Well, my building at 40 Wall Street is now the tallest building in America,’” Begala recalled. “He bragged about it; it wasn’t true. And it was appallingly bad taste.” (Hear Begala’s comments at 3:12 in the video above.)
Trump said via phone to WWOR in New Jersey that “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan. And it was actually before the World Trade Center ... the tallest. And then when they built the World Trade Center, it actually became known as the second tallest, and now it’s the tallest.”
Begala added that Trump also “spread a lie that Muslims” in New Jersey were “dancing and partying and celebrating” the terrorist attacks.
It’s “obscene for the president to try to take that pain and make political gain from it,” said Begala. “I had problems with some of the things that Congresswoman Omar has said .... It was outrageous, and she has apologized. President Trump needs to apologize for this.”
Check out the full discussion above.
Trump has a strange history with 9/11, including a false boast that he helped pay people to clear rubble at the site and search for survivors.