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President Donald Trump claimed on Monday that he was “down there” at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks while announcing that he had signed a bill that would permanently fund the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
He also then joked the stage might collapse with everyone on it.
The bill gained national attention after comedian Jon Stewart publicly lobbied for its passage and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) drew flack for halting its unanimous consent passage in the Senate.
During remarks at the White House about the bill being signed, Trump claimed he was at Ground Zero following the attacks, but wasn’t “considering myself a first responder.”
“Many of those affected were firefighters, police officers, and other first responders,” the president said. “And I was down there also. But I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there, I spent a lot of time down there with you.”
Trump claims without evidence to an audience that includes 9/11 first responders: "I was down there [at Ground Zero] also, but I'm not considering myself a first responder, but I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 29, 2019
Via CBS pic.twitter.com/SbPuKbDwxt
It has not been proven that Trump was at Ground Zero looking for survivors following the attacks, according to Snopes, despite his claims.
During the remarks, Trump also joked about the stage not being able to hold all of the survivors’ families and first responders in attendance, adding that if it collapses they would not be “falling very far.”
“I don’t know if the stage will hold it, but if it doesn’t, we’re not falling very far,” he said, adding: “We’ll give this stage a shot. Let’s see how well built—made in America—let’s see how well built it is.”
Just before signing the 9/11 victims compensation bill, Trump jokes with the first responders and their families that the stage may not hold all of them but that if it collapses they "are not falling very far" pic.twitter.com/h9qY3C7iHK— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 29, 2019
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Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).