Over the years, Donald Trump has made many statements about his memories of 9/11. Many others made false or exaggerated statements about the attack, such as posing as survivors. A psychiatrist coined the term “9/11 sign” to refer to those who lied about the event to generate sympathy. Loading Something is loading.
Most people remember very well where they were when they heard about the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001.
Donald Trump is no different.
Over the years, the former president has described at length his memories of the day, including helping first responders and losing “hundreds” of friends in the attack.
Many of his claims lack evidence and do not stand up to scrutiny.
Trump reiterated some of those claims on Newsmax on Tuesday and revealed previously unseen details.
Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 8, 2021
“I was there right after the event and brought a great team of people. And I helped, a lot of other people helped. These first responders are very brave,” Trump said in point of sale.
Trump also revealed that “two big firefighters” brought him to safety after hearing crackles from a nearby building, which appears to be a new addition to the story.
“I said, ‘This building is going to collapse’, and two big firefighters grabbed me and grabbed other people, and they just left that area. I never got down, but I did. never heard a noise like that. And it was a scary situation, “Trump told Newsmax.
Although he was seen at Ground Zero in the days following the attack, there is no evidence that he helped, according to Vice News.
On September 11, Donald Trump said he watched the attacks unfold through the window of his Trump Tower apartment.
On the day of the attack, he also claimed that 40 Wall Street, also known as the Trump Building, had become the tallest building in downtown Manhattan after 9/11, which was, in fact, incorrect.
Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) September 11, 2021
Most notoriously, he said he saw Muslims celebrating in the streets of New Jersey, a claim that several fact-checkers have questioned.
“It defies basic logic,” wrote PolitiFact’s Lauren Carroll in a “Pants on Fire” decision in 2015.
“In the case of September 11, the line between memory and Trump’s hyperbole seems blurred,” The Associated Press reported.
9/11 fantasies Alicia Head pretended to be a 9/11 survivor. New York Daily News / Getty Images
Donald Trump is not the only one to have made false statements about their experiences of 9/11.
Psychiatrist Jean Kim, who worked in New York City in the years following the attack, wrote an article in the Washington Post in 2015 about the tendency for people to falsely claim to have lost loved ones on September 11.
She said she began to be suspicious of the high number of people who told her they had lost a loved one in the attack and noticed inconsistencies or outright lies in some of the stories.
She coined the term “9/11 sign,” which refers to people who have reported a 9/11 death in their story in order to gain sympathy or material benefit.
There have also been several cases of elaborate lies weaving fantasies about being 9/11 survivors, The Independent recently reported.
The most famous case is that of Alicia Esteve Head, a Spanish woman who fabricated a detailed story about being a 9/11 survivor until the New York Times exposed the deception in 2007.
Head was living in Barcelona when the terrorist attack hit New York and began to call himself Tania.
As Tania Head, she was heavily involved in the World Trade Center Survivor Network, of which she later became President.
Head claimed to have chaired a meeting of Merrill Lynch on the 78th floor of the South Tower on September 11, when a plane crashed into the building.
She described her traumatic experiences in startling detail, including seeing her assistant beheaded and crawling through the carnage before being helped to safety by a kind volunteer.
She also claimed that her fiance Dave, whom she sometimes referred to as her husband, died in the North Tower.
Dave, whose last name was withheld from the New York Times to protect his identity, was a real person who lost his life in the terrorist attack.
His family and friends told the newspaper that they had never heard of Head and were not aware of a relationship between them. Steve Rannazzisi claimed he narrowly escaped the South Tower on September 11. Michael S. Schwartz / Getty Images
Likewise, actor and comedian Steve Rannazzisi claimed to have narrowly escaped from the 54th floor of the South Tower after the first plane crashed into the North Tower.
In 2015, Rannazzisi admitted it was a lie after The New York Times confronted him with evidence that undermined his account.
“I was not at the Trade Center that day,” he said in a statement provided to the newspaper. “I don’t know why I said that. It was inexcusable. I’m really, really sorry.”
“For many years, more than anything,” said Rannazzisi, “I wished that with the silence I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man. It made me even more ashamed. How could I tell my kids to be honest when I hadn’t been up front about it? ”
According to psychiatrist Jean Kim, misguided people such as Head and Rannazzisi sometimes attempt to manipulate traumatic events for material or emotional gain.
“We shouldn’t necessarily feel enraged by these individuals (although that’s certainly tempting.),” Kim wrote in The Washington Post.
“They are usually sad, lonely and empty people who capitalize on this unprecedented capacity for charity.”
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