Politics

What Donald Trump Really Did With 9/11 Money

The New York Daily News raised serious questions Saturday about how Donald Trump used money received in the aftermath of 9/11 and suggested he lied about it.

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The report centered on $150,000 Trump received as part of a government program that allocated funds to New York businesses struggling to recover from the terrorist attacks.

Trump has said that he gave space in his 40 Wall Street building to people and businesses affected by the 9/11 attacks and has bragged about the "greater value" of his efforts.

"The company received this small amount of money after qualifying, given the limited number of employees working at the property," Trump told Time Magazine in April. "For many months, I allowed people to stay in the building, use the building and store things in the building."

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“It was probably a reimbursement for the fact that I allowed people, for many months, to stay in the building (40 Wall Street), use the building and store things in the building,” Trump said. "The value of what I did was far greater than the money talked about, much of which was sent automatically to building owners in the area.”

Trump made an identical statement to The New York Times in May, answering a brutal open letter from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

Nadler accused Trump of pocketing the grant money — an act he deemed "exploitation" of the tragedy.

"In grabbing that money with both fists, you took it out of the pockets of small business owners in New York who were truly hurting and prevented them from taking full advantage of the relief so generously offered by their fellow citizens," Nadler wrote.

According to records acquired by the Daily News, Trump didn't actually use the money to help anyone (except Trump).

From the Daily News:

"Records from the Empire State Development Corp., which administered the recovery program, show that Trump's company asked for those funds for 'rent loss,' 'cleanup' and 'repair' — not to recuperate money lost in helping people.

"That government program was designed to help local businesses get back on their feet — not reimburse people for their charitable work.

"If Trump's company had asked for money for that reason, it would have been rejected, officials said."

"He's clearly wrong. I saw him say that, and he's obviously wrong," David Catalfamo, a senior adviser to former Republican Gov. George Pataki, who helped helm the aid program, told the Daily News. "It was not part of the program to give money away for the other ancillary stuff. The way the program worked was to help businesses cover for uninsured losses. Businesses came forward with their losses, and we covered part of them."

Local community organizers also poked holes in Trump's claims of heroism.

"Who were the people using the building? Why would they be in 40 Wall Street?" lower Manhattan community organizer-turned-Community Board 1 chairwoman Catherine McVay Hughes asked the Daily News.

"It raises the question of what charitable work was done at 40 Wall Street," McVay Hughes added. "We'd all like to know."

Indeed!

Underscoring the allegations is Trump's claim that his property at 40 Wall Street "wasn't affected by what happened to the World Trade Center," the Daily News reported.

"This is just yet another outrage in the consistent pattern he has of not telling the truth and really showing almost every time he opens his mouth that he's somebody that's not worthy to be the President of the United States," Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told the Daily News. "A lie about an issue around 9/11 is despicable."

Trump has also bragged that he "predicted the 9/11 attack" and mentioned that they made his building the largest structure in the city.

Trump also praised former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's handling of the city's crisis, a man he has since termed a bad golfer and political "disaster."

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The Trump campaign did not respond to the Daily News' questions about its story.

ATTN: has reached out to the Trump campaign. We will update this post if we receive a response.

You can read the full report on the New York Daily News.