On September 11 2001, just hours after the 9/11 attacks that killed thousands, it appeared that Donald Trump bragged that he now owned the tallest building in New York's lower Manhattan.
The then real-estate developer was speaking to a local new station, WWOR, on the day of the attacks, when he was asked about a skyscraper that he owned near the fallen Twin Towers, reports Business Insider.
Alan Marcus, a WWOR analyst, asked Trump:
Donald, you have one of the landmark buildings down in the Financial District, 40 Wall Street.
Did you have any damage, or did you — what's happened down there?
In response, Trump appeared to focus less on the deadly attack that cost thousands their lives, and more on the heightened value of his real estate.
Speaking to the analyst, he said:
Well, it was an amazing phone call.
I mean, 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 became known as the second-tallest, and now it's the tallest.
And I just spoke to my people, and they said it's the most unbelievable sight, it's probably seven or eight blocks away from the World Trade Centre, and yet Wall Street is littered with two feet of stone and brick and mortar and steel.
During Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, the interview was resurfaced, and was scrutinised in the press.
Commenting on the interview, news site Snopes reported:
Critics maintain that Trump’s referencing the relative height of 40 Wall Street in the immediate aftermath of the World Trade Center towers’ fall was completely gratuitous and irrelevant to the discussion, the hallmark of an egoist with no compunctions about using tragedy as an opportunity for self-promotion.
However, it argued that within the context of the interview, his remarks 'could be considered defensible' because of the leading nature of the questioning.
It has also been revealed that Trump's comments were actually incorrect. Architectural reports in 2016 showed that after the attacks, 70 Pine Street actually became the tallest building in the area at 952 feet. The Trump Tower at 40 Wall Street only stands at 927 feet, reports the Huffington Post.
In the interview, the then property developer also revealed what he would do if he were president when an attack took place:
Well, I’d be taking a very, very tough line.
I mean, you know, most people feel they know at least approximately the group of people that did this and where they are.
But boy, would you have to take a hard line on this. This just can’t be tolerated.