Despite his repeated claims to the contrary, money Donald Trump received from a New York State relief program in the wake of the September 11th attacks was not a reward for his charitable actions toward others. According to the New York Daily News, the $150,000 Trump applied for and received from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) was for a variety of business expenses; the money had been earmarked to aide small businesses which suffered uninsured losses during and immediately following the attacks.
Records from the ESDC, which administered the funding, show that Trump’s company applied for funding for “rent loss,” “cleanup,” and “repair” — not, as he claims, to help small businesses, for whom the funding was intended. In fact, officials say that because the program was not designed to compensate private citizens for charitable work, any application that asked for money for that reason would have been denied.
David Catalfamo, who was a senior advisor to then-Governor George Pataki during the 9/11 attacks, said Trump is “clearly wrong. I saw him say that and he’s obviously wrong. It was not part of the program to give money away for the other ancillary stuff. The way the program worked was to help businesses cover for uninsured losses. Businesses came forward with their losses and we covered part of them.”
In April, Trump told TIME magazine that his company was awarded the money as “a reimbursement for the fact that I allowed people, for many months, to stay in the building (40 Wall St.), use the building and store things in the building.” He went on, “I was happy to do it, and to this day I am still being thanked for the many people I helped. The value of what I did was far greater than the money talked about, much of which was sent automatically to building owners in the area.” However, none of these claims are supported by the paperwork Trump filed with ESCD administrators.