30 July 2019 00:02
WASHINGTON — President Trump walked into the Rose Garden on Monday and signed into law a bill that would permanently fund the care of emergency workers who became ill after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also revived an old claim that he spent time at ground zero alongside firefighters and police officers. Mr. Trump has a long history of making questionable and provocative statements about what he saw on the day of the attacks and how he reacted, some critical of Muslims. On Monday, surrounded by emergency medical workers who had lost colleagues and friends in the attacks, Mr. Trump sought again to place himself near the center of the recovery effort.
What Trump said: "Many of those affected were firefighters, police officers and other first responders. And I was down there also, but I'm not considering myself a first responder. I spent a lot of time down there with you." This is exaggerated. According to Richard Alles, a retired deputy chief with the New York Fire Department, Mr. Trump was not a presence at ground zero. "I spent many months there myself, and I never witnessed him," Mr. Alles, who was at the Rose Garden event on Monday, said in an interview. "He was a private citizen at the time. I don't know what kind of role he could have possibly played."