Trump said he was 'down there' at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attack, but there's no evidence he was ever closer than a few blocks away

  • President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan 9/11 Victim Compensation bill into law at a White House ceremony on Monday, permanently replenishing the fund that aids first responders and their families who suffered in the September 11, 2001 attacks and the years after.
  • At the signing, he also took a brief moment to say he was also at Ground Zero after the attacks.
  • "I was down there also, but I'm not considering myself a first responder," Trump said.
  • Trump has a troubled history talking about the 9/11 attacks where he's made several false statements.
  • In this case, Trump's statement is true to an extent, according to Politifact, though no evidence has been presented that shows Trump being anywhere closer than a few blocks away in the days after 9/11.

President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan 9/11 Victim Compensation bill into law at a White House ceremony on Monday, permanently replenishing the fund that aids first responders and their families who suffered in the September 11, 2001 attacks and the years after.

Trump praised the responders who attended for their heroism and sacrifice. But then he also took a brief moment to say he was there too.

"I was down there also, but I'm not considering myself a first responder," Trump said.

It's true to an extent.

The fact-checking website Politifact notes "it is accurate that Trump was at least near Ground Zero two days following the Sept. 11 attacks." According to Snopes, Trump gave TV interviews to NBC News and a German news outlet while standing near the site two days after the attacks.

But no evidence has been presented to the public that Trump was ever at Ground Zero itself.

20 PHOTOS
Rarely seen photos from 9/11
See Gallery
Rarely seen photos from 9/11

President George W. Bush watches news coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center as he is briefed in a classroom at Emma. E Booker Elementary School on September 11, 2001. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Eric Draper, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

In a photo taken two days after the attacks, the extensive damage to the Pentagon can be seen.

Photo Credit: Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cedric H. Rudisill

Late into the night on September 11, 2001, the Pentagon continues to smoke. 

Photo Credit: Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Houlihan

A clock frozen at the time of impact inside the Pentagon. 

Photo Credit: Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Larry A. Simmons

A scorched fifth-floor office desk from inside the Pentagon. 

Photo Credit: Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Larry A. Simmons

More damage from the fifth-floor of the Pentagon.

Photo Credit: Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Larry A. Simmons

President George W. Bush talks on the phone aboard Air-force One as his senior staff talks nearby. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

George W. Bush converses with Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice inside the President's Emergency Operations Center on the day of the attacks. 

Photo Credit: National Archives photo

Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice listen intently during meetings in the President's Emergency Operations Center. 

Photo Credit: National Archives photo

More views from inside the President's Emergency Operations Center on September 11, 2001. 

Photo Credit: National Archives photo

Smoke billows from site of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Paul Morse, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

New York National Guard soldiers from the 69th Infantry Division and New York City firefighters work together to clear rubble from the ground zero. 

Photo Credit: New York National Guard photo

A New York National Guard soldier at ground zero. 

Photo Credit: New York National Guard photo

Secretary of State Colin Powell from inside the President's Emergency Operations Center. 

Photo Credit: National Archives photo

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney converse inside the President's Emergency Operations Center on September 11, 2001. 

Photo Credit: National Archives photo

One day after the attack's President George W. Bush greets rescue workers, firefighters, and military who were on site at the Pentagon. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

The President thanks Firefighters, rescue workers, and military personnel at ground zero. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

President George W. Bush holds hands with his father during the service for America's National Day of Prayer and Remembrance on September 14, 2001. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) hang the largest authorized flag for the military over the side of the Pentagon as cleanup and recovery continue after the attacks. 

Photo Credit: Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Pendergrass

Taken on Feb. 8, 2004, the widow of pilot Jason Dahl who was flying United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, holds a flag honoring those who sacrificed their lives on 9/11.  The plane is believed to have been en route to the White House but crashed in Somerset Pennsylvania.

Photo Credit: Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Darin Overstreet

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The remark at the first responders' bill signing caused a bit of a stir online because Trump has had a troubled history talking about the 9/11 attacks, at various times making several false statements.

Notably, Trump has claimed that he saw thousands of people in New Jersey celebrating the attacks, which has been repeatedly proven false. 

And at a 2016 campaign rally in Buffalo, Trump said he "helped a little bit" to clear the rubble from the wreckage of the Twin Towers. No evidence of that has ever come to light.

As the 9/11 attacks itself unfolded, though, Trump had a striking reaction. In a phone interview with a local TV station, he boasted that a skyscraper he owned was now the tallest building in downtown Manhattan.

"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," he said at the time.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.