The Jury Talks Back


Donald Trump After WTC Collapsed on 9/11: Now I Have the Tallest Building in Downtown New York!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:54 pm

I had never heard this until today. Amazing that this clip was not available during the campaign.

Literally moments after the towers came down, Trump was asked if anything had happened with his own building at 40 Wall Street. His answer was to brag about now having the tallest building in downtown Manhattan. It’s so ghoulish and laughably inappropriate that you would think it was The Onion. But it’s real:

INTERVIEWER: You have one of the landmark buildings down in the financial district, 40 Wall Street. Uh, did you have any damage, or did, you know, what’s happened down there?

TRUMP: Well, it was an amazing phone call. Well, I mean, 40 Wall Street 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, became known as the second tallest, and now it’s the tallest.

Let’s assume he followed that up with something about how horrible the collapse of the World Trade Center was, and how sad the loss of life was, and all that was edited out by the partisan who created this video. Assume all that to be true, Trump defenders. We don’t know it, but assume it anyway.

I don’t care. His first reaction was to gloat about how he now had the tallest building in downtown Manhattan.

Donald Trump is a pathological narcissist and a complete dick. This is the way he has always been. This is the way he will always be.

He may end up doing some policy things that are OK, and if so I will acknowledge that. But he is a terrible, awful, immoral human being with no positive traits whatsoever.

If you can’t handle the fact that I point that out, find another blog.

P.S. A hypercritical commenter says Mike Pence made a nice speech today at the site of the crash of Flight 93, and asks why I didn’t post about that. The answer is because I was working. However, my colleague streiff at RedState posted about it, so if you’re interested, read about it here.

As a suck-up to Donald Trump, Mike Pence has no character. He is still miles better than Donald Trump. We’d be far better off with Pence as president.


  1. This quote is out of context. For the full context, see this transcript:

    Obviously, commenting about the building heights was NOT Trump’s first reaction. Much preceded that comment. Even in the stuff quoted by Patterico, we see the reporter calling the building “one of the landmark buildings down in the financial district.” So Trump explained why it’s a landmark. Big deal. I assume that the Clinton team did not emphasize this trivia because they realized doing so would lose them votes, and would sound quite petty.

    Comment by Andrew — 9/11/2017 @ 9:58 pm

  2. Patterico, please give us a list of your top two reasons for saying Trump “is a terrible, awful, immoral human being with no positive traits whatsoever.” Thanks.

    Comment by Andrew — 9/11/2017 @ 10:00 pm

  3. Here’s two parts transcribed, one from Andrew’s link and the other from elsewhere:

    First Reporter: Donald, I understand, you were actually a witness to what happened this morning.
    Donald Trump: Well, I have a window that looks directly at the world Trade Center and I saw this huge explosion, I was with a group of people and I, I really couldn’t believe it, and even, I think worse than that, for years I’ve looked right directly at the building. I’d see the Empire State Building in the foreground, and the World Trade Center in the background, and now I’m looking at absolutely nothing. It’s just gone. And it’s, just hard to believe.

    Allen Marcus: Donald, Allen Marcus here. Uh, your building is uh, Trump Tower, is the – one of the great tourist attractions in the world, it’s well-known universally, are you taking any, uh, precautions there in light of what happened at the World Trade Center?

    Donald Trump: Well, Allen, we’ve always had, as you know, very very strong security, but there’s very little you can do about planes crashing into a building. You look at Larry Silverstein, is a terrific owner in New York and a very good friend of mine who I just called, I was very worried about him, because I assumed he was maybe in the building. He took possession of the building one week ago. As you know, he just bought the World Trade Center.

    Allen Marcus: Right

    Donald Trump: And, he was in his office, and he was getting ready to move into the World Trade Center over the next two weeks, so, when I just spoke to him, there’s nothing you can do when people are going to be bombing planes at your building. Now, I guess maybe the world is gonna be changing and maybe you/re gonna have F-16’s flying all over the city and such, but, it’s a pretty tough situation.

    Allen Marcus: Donald, uh, you have one of the landmark buildings down in the financial district, 40 Wall Street. Uhh, did you have any damage, or did, you know, what’s – what’s happened down there?

    Donald Trump: 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 Center, and yet Wall Street is littered with two feet of stone and brick and mortar and steel,

    and there were thousands of people walking over, the – the debris, over the Brooklyn Bridge, where they’re sending them out over the Brooklyn Bridge, to Brooklyn, and then I guess, and they’re gonna have to figure out how to get home from there.

    But they have between a foot and 2 feet of debris, right in front of a building, that’s probably, you would say Allen, around six or seven blocks away.


    Alan Marcus: Donald you’re probably the best-known builder particularly of great buildings in the city. There’s a great deal of question about whether or not the damage and and the ultimate destruction of the buildings was caused by the airplanes by architectural defect or possibly by bombs or more after shocks you have any thoughts on that?

    Donald Trump: It wasn’t architectural defect. The World Trade Center was always known as a very very strong building. Don’t forget that took a big bomb in the basement (1993). Now, the basement is the most vulnerable place because that’s your foundation and it withstood that and I got to see that area about three or four days after took place because one of my structural engineers actually took me for a tour because he did the building and I said “I can’t believe it”. The the building was standing solid and half of the columns were blown out. This was an unbelievably powerful building. If you don’t know anything about structure it was one of the first buildings that was built from the outside. The steel, the reason the World Trade Center had such narrow windows is that in between all the windows, you had the steel on the outside, the steel on the outside of the building.

    That’s why when I first looked – and you had these big heavy i-beams. When I first looked at it, I couldn’t believe it, because there was a hole in the steel and this is steel that was, you remember the width of the windows of the World Trade Center folks. I think you know if you were ever up there, they were quite narrow and in between was this heavy steel. I said how could a plane, even a plane, even a 767 or 747 or whatever it might have been, how could it possibly go through this steel? I happen to think that they had not only a plane but they had bombs that exploded almost simultaneously, because I just can’t imagine anything being able to go through that wall. Most buildings are built with the steel on the inside around the elevator shaft. This one was built from the outside which is the strongest structure you can have and it was almost just like a can of soup.

    Rolland Smith: You know, Donald we were looking at pictures all morning long of that plane coming into building number two and when you see that approach the far side and all of a sudden within a matter of milliseconds the explosion pops out the other side.

    Donald Trump: Right. I just think that there was a plane with more than just fuel. I think obviously they were very big planes. They were going very rapidly, because I was also watching where the plane seemed to be not only going fast it seems to be coming down into the building. So is getting the speed from going down hill so to speak. It just seemed to me that to do that kind of destruction is even more than a big plane because you’re talking about talking about steel, the heaviest caliber steel that was used on the building. These buildings were rock-solid and you know it’s just an amazing amazing thing. This country is different today and it’s going to be different than it ever was for many years to come.

    Rolland Smith: A very profound statement and very true.

    Comment by Frederick — 9/11/2017 @ 10:05 pm

  4. It’s a pretty long interview. It was only of interest to 9/11 Troofers, until Politico decided to observe September 11, 2016 with 20 seconds of a ten minute interview.

    Comment by Frederick — 9/11/2017 @ 10:06 pm

  5. Patterico, I’ve agreed with you on quite a few of your slams at Trump, because they were warranted and factual in those cases.

    In this case, you’re flat out wrong. Read what Frederick posted and you’ll see that your core argument, the one you bolded, is factually wrong and also that Trump’s comment, in context, is fine. There are plenty of real things to slam Trump for, but a post like this, when in error and uncorrected even after the error has been pointed out, appears rather reminiscent of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    IMHO, you should post an update regarding the factual errors.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 9/12/2017 @ 8:32 pm

  6. CJ,

    The interviewer, Allen Marcus, said this about Trump’s comments:

    However, Snopes said that “in the context of the full interview, Trump’s remarks could perhaps be considered defensible,” adding that the question he was answering pertained to his building in particular.
    Meanwhile, Marcus, who is also Trump’s friend and former publicist, told Politico last year that the response was simply “Donald being Donald.”

    “He is the brand manager of Trump, and he is going to tout that brand, and he does it reflexively,” Marcus said. “Even on that day.”

    To boot, Trump’s claim that his building was then the tallest in downtown Manhattan wasn’t accurate — the nearby 70 Pine Street building is 25 feet taller than Trump’s 40 Wall Street, though Trump’s building has four more stories.

    Even on that day.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/13/2017 @ 8:14 am

  7. The interviewer was Trump’s former publicist, so he knows how Trump thinks, and was conducting the interview. He viewed this as Trump touting his brand — engaging in puffery and salesmanship — even on the day the Towers fell.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/13/2017 @ 8:23 am

  8. A Business Insider link for what Marcus said about the interview with Trump on 9/11.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/13/2017 @ 8:27 am

  9. Politico, too.

    This is who Donald is — selling his brand, always — and it’s who he will be as President, too.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/13/2017 @ 8:29 am

  10. Still want to blame Patterico? I’d like to know.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/13/2017 @ 8:29 am

  11. Trump was too modest. 40 Wall Street was once the tallest building in the world, one of only fifteen buildings in the world for which that’s now true.

    That source also claims it’s “the tallest office building in downtown New York”. Wikipedia says it “was the tallest mid-block building in the city from 1930 until the completion of One57 in 2014.”

    Anyway, Snopes is correct that his remark was defensible in context. It would be nice if he would speak with greater exactitude, but this particular discussion does not seem worth the paper it could have been written on. He was asked about the building being a landmark so his answer naturally indicated why it’s a landmark.

    Comment by Andrew — 9/13/2017 @ 8:54 am

  12. @DRJ: The transcript of the interview where Trump made the comment, and the context, are already posted here. There’s also the original on YouTube.

    So while it is interesting what Business Insider said about the interview, or Politico said about it, people can read it for themselves right here, and listen to it for themselves on YouTube, and judge for themselves how accurately it has been characterized by the outfits you linked to.

    Which is really what the Internet does best–it gives you a way around, if you want it.

    Comment by Frederick — 9/13/2017 @ 8:55 am

  13. The characterization was by the actual interviewer who is also a Trump friend and former publicist, so he knows Trump personally and has a basis to understand what Trump intended.

    You appear to have missed that important aspect of my comments.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/13/2017 @ 9:04 pm

  14. @ DRJ, I see your points, but my opinion stands; I feel the post (let’s be clear, I’m criticizing this specific post, not Patterico in general) was in factual error; the post makes its core (and bolded) argument that Trump’s *first* reaction was to “gloat”. Well, it very clearly was not the first thing he said in that interview, not even close. (as for the gloating, it didn’t come across that way to me, given the full context of both the rest of the interview and the specific question).

    The issue I have with the post is called overblowing; when a post or article builds itself around an exaggerated claim that is not factual, it undermines its own veracity. And as such, this post does so. And as such, this post, IMHO, as it stands, is reminiscent of some (not here) that evidenced Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    As for Trump touting his brand… yeah, I see a touch of that in there, and on that day it’s distasteful as hell, but I, like Marcus, doubt it was intentional. Trump always, always touts his brand, and has done so for decades. I personally know quite a few people in the branding-based businesses who do this, and frankly I always find it grating as hell. I’ve even been subjected to it at a funeral. And it’s second nature to them – they do it without thinking. Doesn’t make it right, of course, but it’s the nature of that particular beast. (and it’s one of the things I find most galling about Trump).

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 9/14/2017 @ 7:31 pm

  15. I see your point, CJ. Thank you for responding.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/15/2017 @ 6:43 am

  16. I agree with much of what you say about Trump, but I think Patterico is correct to say the first thing Trump did was gloat about his buildings and brand. Ttue, it wasn’t the first thing he said in the interview, but it was on the day of 9/11 in an early interview — possibly his first that day, maybe the only one. Doing this at any time on 9/11 or even the week of 9/11 is “the first thing” to me.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/15/2017 @ 6:50 am

  17. However, that’s my personal quibble. I think touting a brand like this, no matter how often salesmen do it, is distasteful. But I understand not everyone feels that way.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/15/2017 @ 6:53 am

  18. When I say “like this” I mean on a tragic day like 9/11. I have no problem with being proud of your product. I have a big problem with letting your pride overshadow someone else’s tragedy.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/15/2017 @ 8:29 am

  19. @ DRJ,

    Oh, I totally agree it was distasteful. I feel that way when it’s done on normal days, so I feel far more strongly when it’s done on 9-11, or even like one did to me, at a funeral. If you’ve ever known someone really into multi-level-marketing, such as Amway, they’re peas from the same pod- a non stop commercial.

    All I’m saying is that I find it utterly believable and highly probable that, with it being second nature to Trump to talk like that, he did it out of habit rather than intent.

    And I still think calling it “first” was very inaccurate. :)

    And BTW, as an example of how utterly blind people who non-stop yammer about their brand or product can be, they guy at the funeral I mentioned had a real look of shock and horror on his face when it was pointed out to him what he was doing (I honestly believe he didn’t realize he was doing it). Likewise, you get stuff like this;

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 9/15/2017 @ 7:42 pm

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