Last Updated on September 11, 2019
President Donald Trump told viewers they must never forget the atrocious terrorist attack when he conducted a phone interview on September 11, 2001 by a local news station.
President Trump famously told media that he sent “a couple hundred” people to assist with clearing the debris in the days following the September 11 terrorist attacks, but in a lesser known phone interview the president was one of the first to insist Americans “never forget” what happened on that dark day.
As the interviewer asked President Trump what Americans and New Yorkers should do in the aftermath of the devastating attack, that at the time Americans only knew claimed thousands of innocent lives and destroyed two of the country’s tallest buildings, the president said “The big thing that you really will have to do is never forget. You just can’t forget that something like this happened.”
He went on, “You want to just say the hell with it, we’re going forward, nothing’s going to change. But the fact is something has changed, very dramatically.”
Noting that President Trump briefly ran for president in 2000, before calling off his exploratory committee early in the cycle, the anchor then asked what President Trump would do if he had been elected the prior year.
“I’d be taking a very tough line, Allen. You know, most people feel, they know, at least approximately the group of people that did this and where they are.” President Trump continued, “This just can’t be tolerated, and it’s got to be very, very stern.”
President Trump continued, “This is probably worse than Pearl Harbor, many more people are dead.”
“I have somebody who witnessed at least 10 people jumping out of the building from 70 and 80 stories up in the air.”
In the days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, President Trump was interviewed by German news, telling the reporter that he was sending Trump Organization employees to help clear the debris.
President Trump had just seen Ground Zero, the site of the fallen towers, and told the reporter that he had “never seen anything like it.” He went on, “The devastation, the human life that’s been just wasted for no reason whatsoever.”
“It’s a terrible scene, it was a terrible sight,” said President Trump, “but New Yorkers are very resilient and they’ll rebuild quickly.”
The reporter then asked President Trump if he would be involved in clearing the debris or rebuilding efforts.
“I have a lot of men down here right now, we have over 100, and we have about 125 coming,” said the president. “So we’ll have a couple of hundred people down here, and they’re very brave and what they’re doing is amazing.”