Another day, another strange comment from President Donald Trump. During a speech at the White House on Monday, July 29, Trump commented on his actions during the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks, and let's just say he may have exaggerated his role. The president made some pretty significant claims about his whereabouts during the attacks, and these "Lost Trump History" memes after Trump's claims about 9/11 are all roasting him.
On July 29, Trump signed an extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund which is slated to provide health care and compensation for police officers, firefighters, and other 9/11 first responders who worked in dangerous conditions in the aftermath of the attacks. The bill will release billions of dollars until 2090 to ensure that all surviving 9/11 responders are covered for the rest of their lives.
During the signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on July 29, Trump gave a speech that was attended by first responders and other people impacted by 9/11. During the speech, Trump appeared to exaggerate his contribution to the 9/11 response by aligning himself with first responders. After describing the importance of the Victim Compensation Fund, Trump said,
And I was down there [Ground Zero] also. But I'm not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for a response to Trump's claims about being at Ground Zero but has not heard back at the time of publication.
However, there's no evidence that Trump participated in any immediate rescue or cleanup efforts, according to Gothamist. For what it's worth, Trump was spotted at Ground Zero on Sept. 13, two days after the attacks, according to a Newsday report at the time. The publication described Trump as walking around in a black suit and red tie, talking on his cell phone and describing the site. A televised interview with a German news outlet at the time also showed Trump near Ground Zero.
As a response to Trump's 9/11 claims, Twitter users popularized the #LostTrumpHistory hashtag to poke fun at the president trying to insert himself in an important historical event. Twitter user @JoJoFromJerz, for example, wrote, "Did you know that Donald Trump was the first aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean? It’s true. Believe me...#LostTrumpHistory." Another Twitter user, @astudub, wrote "DT was the 5th Beatle, But he didn’t stick around because he was so good he didn’t wanna upstage everyone else. #LostTrumpHistory"
Twitter users also Photoshopped the president winning Wimbledon, leading animals onto Noah's Ark, walking on the moon, and even parting the Dead Sea, all with the hashtags #LostTrumpHistory, the joke, obviously, being that Trump didn't actually do any of these things.
What was Trump actually doing on 9/11? According to The New York Times, on the day of the attacks Trump called WWOR-TV to say that he had a window in Trump Tower that looked directly at the World Trade Center. During the phone interview, Trump talked about his own property, 40 Wall Street, which he said was "the tallest" building in downtown Manhattan before the World Trade Center was built. Per a September 2016 piece in Politico that compared what Hillary Clinton and Trump did on 9/11, Trump was at his home (and place of work) at Trump Tower and watched the attacks and their aftermath on TV and out his window. Richard Alles, a retired deputy chief with the New York Fire Department, told The New York Times on July 29 that he had "never witnessed" Trump at the site in the months that he had spent at Ground Zero.
The president has been known to make exaggerated comments about himself during his time as both a public figure and politician, so should we really be all that surprised, though? It seems #LostTrumpHistory isn't going anywhere.