While speaking at the Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial ceremony, the president also repeated his disputed claim that he went down to Ground Zero shortly after the attacks.
Trump recounted how he was watching CNBC when the first plane struck the World Trade Center.
“I was looking out of a window from a building in midtown Manhattan directly at the World Trade Center when I saw the second plane at a tremendous speed go into the second tower,” Trump said. “It was then that I realized the world was going to change.”
He continued: “Soon after I went down to Ground Zero with men who worked for me to try to help in any little way that we could. We were not alone.”
Trump similarly said back in July, while signing a bill to fund the medical care of 9/11 first responders, that he spent “a lot of time” at Ground Zero. But Richard Alles, a retired deputy chief with the New York Fire Department, cast doubt on that.
“I spent many months there myself, and I never witnessed him,” Alles told the New York Times in July. “He was a private citizen at the time. I don’t know what kind of role he could have possibly played.”
Here is Trump’s full quote on the canceled Taliban peace talks while speaking at the Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial ceremony:
“We had peace talks scheduled a few days ago. I called them off when I learned that they had killed a great American soldier from Puerto Rico and 11 other innocent people. They thought they would use this attack to show strength, but actually what they showed is unrelenting weakness. The last four days, we have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before. And that will continue.
“And if for any reason, they come back to our country, we will go wherever they are, and use power, the likes of which the United States has never used before. And I’m not even talking about nuclear power. They will never have seen anything like what will happen to them. No enemy on earth can match the overwhelming strength skill and might of the American armed forces.”
The president has just finished speaking at the Pentagon’s memorial ceremony for the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
It’s safe to say he likely went off the teleprompter a bit. Most notably, Trump invoked his scrapped plans to hold peace talks with the Taliban at Camp David.
“We had peace talks scheduled a few days ago,” Trump told the crowd assembled at one of the sites of the attacks that collectively killed thousands. “I called them off when I learned that they had killed a great American soldier from Puerto Rico and 11 other innocent people … The last four days we have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before.”
One reporter described the audience’s response as “polite.”
Joe Biden released a statement in honor of the 9/11 anniversary, saying the event “has become synonymous with America’s iron will to never bend, never break in the face of terror.”
“It’s also become a reminder of who we are as a nation and what Americans are capable of when we come together, united in shared purpose,” said the Democratic presidential candidate, who was in the Senate when the attacks occurred.
Biden concluded: “This year, on 9/11, we once more honor the memories of those Americans whose lives were too cruelly cut short, and we renew our commitment to upholding the best of what it means to be an American—and to all that sets the United States apart.”
More on that Washington Post/ABC News poll: Joe Biden has the largest lead over Trump in a hypothetical match-up, besting the president by 15 points.
Bernie Sanders holds a 9-point lead over Trump, and Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris both have 7-point leads. Pete Buttigieg has a more narrow lead over Trump that falls within the poll’s margin of error.
So overall, the poll is good news for Democrats. But pollsters and strategists are historically skeptical of general election polls this far out from Election Day.
The Fed isn’t the only thing irking the president this morning. More results have been released from the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, and they show Trump trailing Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris in hypothetical general election match-ups.
This two-part tweet thread continues several falsehoods, not to mention the derogatory nickname he throws in for Warren, so let’s take them one at a time.
First of all, as the blog covered yesterday, the Washington Post/ABC News poll is well regarded. It has an A+ rating from the polling and analysis website FiveThirtyEight.
Second of all, the outlets’ final poll before the general election in 2016 showed that Hillary Clinton would beat Trump nationally by 4 points. That was very close to the actual result, where Clinton defeated Trump in the popular vote by 2 points. (She obviously lost the Electoral College and the presidency along with it.)
Third, there is no evidence that pollsters are skewing their results in an attempt to undermine Trump.
Fourth, Trump has been campaigning since he took office. He has held campaign rallies consistently since his inauguration.
Fifth, Russia’s 2016 election interference is very much confirmed and is not at all “fake news.”
Sixth, Trump has egregiously exaggerated how much Dan Bishop, the Republican who won last night’s special congressional race in North Carolina, was down in the polls.
It’s amazing how many falsehoods can be stuffed into two 280-character tweets.
Good morning, live blog readers — I hope you all take a moment today to remember the 2,997 people lost 18 years ago.
Our president’s focus seems to be drifting toward other topics this morning. While simultaneous celebrating his party’s narrow victory last night in a North Carolina special congressional race, Donald Trump is lashing out against the leaders of the Federal Reserve as “Boneheads.”
The central bank is expected to once again lower interest rates next week after doing so for the first time in a decade during its July meeting.
But that doesn’t seem to be appeasing Trump, who has previously complained that the Fed’s chairman, Jerome Powell, supposedly raised interest rates too fast and then lowered them too slowly.
This is very well-trodden territory for Trump. He has repeatedly lashed out against Powell to blame the chairman for the slowing US economy, even though the president’s trade war has done far more damage in that arena.
But this poll released yesterday, showing a majority of Americans expect a recession in the next year, is almost certainly on the president’s mind, too. Trump is counting on a strong economy to win re-election. If he doesn’t have it, he’ll at least need a bogeyman to blame for the slump. Why not the Fed chairman?
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
- Americans across the country will recognize the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
- Trump and the first lady are attending a 9/11 observance ceremony at the Pentagon.
- Robert Wilkie, the VA secretary, will continue his five-day trip through Israel.
The blog is watching all of that, so stay tuned.