— Ess (@ScottyLiterati) September 11, 2016
Fifteen years ago today, on September 11, 2001, while most Manhattanites were frantically calling to see if loved ones were alive or dead and tens of thousands of people were rushing to take cover, Donald Trump phoned into WWOR for a live interview. And true to Trump fashion, the real estate mogul thought it was all pretty “amazing.” He also dryly noted that his own building would now be the tallest in the city.
Asked whether 40 Wall Street, Trump’s 71-story skyscraper located only a few blocks from ground zero in the financial district, maintained any damage, Trump replied:
“Well, it was an amazing phone call I made. 40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest. And then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was serving as New York’s junior senator during the attacks. On September 12, Clinton toured ground zero alongside New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Governor George Pataki. “She really went out of her way to speak to the first responders on the site to reassure them,” one firefighter recalled. “I never forgot it.”
Clinton went on to become a champion of health programs for first responders who became ill after 9/11. In an audiotape recorded by WNYC in 2003, Clinton speaks from atop the pile at Ground Zero. “I am outraged,” she says of the Bush Administration’s reassurance that the air over Ground Zero wasn’t contaminated and causing illness. “In the immediate aftermath, the first couple of days, nobody could know. But a week later? Two weeks later? Two months later? Six months later? Give me a break!”