By Steve Watson
A Democratic representative took the opportunity to use his speaking time at the DNC Tuesday night to accuse GOP nominee Donald Trump of ‘cashing in’ on the 9/11 attacks, insinuating that Trump profited from the devastation in New York in the months after the twin towers fell.
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) suggested that Trump defrauded a federal program which was intended to provide financial aid to small businesses affected in the wake of the attacks.
“Where was Donald Trump in the days and months and years after 9/11,” Crowley said.
“He didn’t stand at the pile. He didn’t lobby Congress for help for the first responders. Nope. He cashed in, collecting $150,000 in federal funds intended to help small businesses recover even though days after the attack Trump said his properties were not affected.” Crowley added.
The New York rep then defended Hillary, declaring that she used the funds properly, while Trump sought personal gain.
“Hillary sought those funds to help local mom and pop shops get back on their feet,” Crowely crowed. “Donald Trump sought out a payday for his empire. It was one of our nation’s darkest days, but for Trump it was just another chance to make a buck.”
It’s a claim that has been repeated regularly by Trump detractors. However, it is a non issue, because Trump’s use of the funds was entirely within the purposes of the federal program.
Even Politifact, the notoriously biased left leaning ‘fact checking’ website, determines that Crowley’s charge is only ‘half true’.
By that, Politifact means that Trump acted within the confines of the program and used the funds for the purposes they were intended.
“Crowley’s charge is misleading as it suggests Trump took advantage of the program, when his property at 40 Wall Street did meet the criteria for the money.” the site explains.
The Trump building in question contained 28 employees, well below the 500 cap placed on ‘small businesses’ by the federal program.
Detractors have also insinuated that Trump took the money while admitting that his building wasn’t affected by the attacks. What they fail to point out is that Trump meant his property wasn’t PHYSICALLY affected by the attacks. He wasn’t referring to the economic impact, which is what the program was focused on.
“Trump’s was among over 14,000 companies that received grants totalling $530 million. That includes other firms like the Rockefeller Group, Ford Motors, Dell Inc., Morgan Stanley and the Bank of China.” the report notes.
When the issue was dredged back up in May, Trump again had to explain what really happened to the New York Times:
“The company received this small amount of money after qualifying, given the limited number of employees working at the property. For many months, I allowed people to stay in the building, use the building and store things in the building. I was happy to do it and to this day I am still being thanked for the many people I helped. The value of what I did was far greater than the money talked about.”
In contrast to Trump, Hillary Clinton has used the 9/11 attacks repeatedly as a talking point to avoid and shut down questions over huge contributions given to her campaign by Wall Street fat cats.
Hillary has also funneled funds from Saudi Arabia, thought to be the prime financial backer of the 9/11 attacks, into her campaign coffers. Her leading staffers also have direct ties to Saudi financiers.
Perhaps Democrats should think twice next time they attempt to link Donald Trump to the 9/11 attacks, in order to bolster Hillary’s campaign.