Trump Gave Somber Interview Blocks from World Trade Center Shortly After 9/11 Attacks: ‘We Have To Rebuild’
Two days after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, then-businessman Donald Trump was at Ground Zero lamenting the terrible tragedy and emphasizing the need to rebuild.
“The devastation. The human life that’s just been wasted for no reason whatsoever. It is a terrible scene. It’s a terrible sight,” Trump said.
Even in the face of such horrible devastation, Trump said New Yorkers would be up to the task of rebuilding.
“But New Yorkers are very and resilient and they’ll rebuild quickly,” he said.
Trump was then asked by the reporter, Stephan Bachenheimer, how the U.S. should respond to the terror attacks.
“I think they have to respond quickly and effectively,” Trump replied. “They have to find out exactly what the cause was, who did it and they have to go after these people because there is no other choice.”
“And then secondarily and much less importantly, we have to rebuild in some form that will be just as majestic as the World Trade Center,” he said.
Eventually, of course, the World Trade Center complex was rebuilt, with the Freedom Tower now standing tall over the city.
— Jolee (@JoleeMockler) September 11, 2019
Trump expressed hope that the site would be rebuilt “very quickly.”
But it was more important, he said, to dig survivors out of the rubble.
“A lot of great, genius people in this city and I think that within a shorter period of time, but first we have to get rid of what’s there. And we have to save as many lives as possible if that is possible.
“But after that process takes place I think they can start thinking about rebuilding. Absolutely,” Trump added.
Trump expressed similar sentiments in the immediate aftermath of and in the days following the 9/11 attacks.
The day of the attacks, he spoke to Randal C. Archibold, then a reporter for The New York Times.
“He wasn’t bombastic in any way,” Archibold told Politico in 2016, recalling to his conversation with Trump. “There was no anger or bile in his voice. I remember he was, I think, like everybody else, in shock and dismayed at what happened.”
“This country is different today,” he said, “and it’s going to be different than it ever was for many years to come.”
“I guess the big thing you really will have to do is never forget,” he added.
“This is a city largely based on great skyscrapers, and they will always be the essence of New York,” Trump said. “That won’t change, just as the character of the people who live here will not be altered by this tragedy.”