Donald Trump Cashed In On 9/11 Attack, Received ‘Small Business Aid’


Congressman Joseph Crowley, a representative in the Queens borough of New York City, did not mince words when discussing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Trump, a prominent New York City billionaire, didn’t lend a hand after the twin towers fell, Crowley said Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

“Where was Trump in the days and the months and the years after 9/11?” said Crowley, a supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, via the New York Observer. “He didn’t stand on the pile. He didn’t lobby Congress for help. He didn’t fight for our first responders. Nope — he cashed in.”

Clinton was a senator representing New York at the time. She fought for funding for “local mom and pop shops” said Crowley, who lost a firefighter cousin in the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. Crowley said Trump, a real estate magnate, went after that funding.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-NY., speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-NY., speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

“It was one of our nation’s darkest days, but to Trump, it was just another chance to make a quick buck,” Crowley said to a booing crowd, via the Observer.

Trump did receive $150,000 in funding for a property at 40 Wall Street, less than a mile from where the World Trade Center towers stood, a Politifact investigation into Crowley’s claim found. The fact-checking site deemed Crowley’s claims “half-true” because Trump did take funding, but his firm also met the technical requirements to receive funding.

But Trump’s push for the money wasn’t without controversy. Rep. Jerrold Nadler of Manhattan wrote an angry open letter about how Trump’s business — with more than $26 million in revenue — received small business funds, which by federal definition have less than $6 million in revenue:

May 26, 2016
An open letter to Donald J. Trump:
On behalf of the countless New York citizens and businesses who worked so hard to heal after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, I have a simple question:
 
When do you plan on returning the taxpayer money that was designated to ease the suffering of our city’s small business owners?
 
Many Americans may be surprised to learn that after 9/11, you deliberately sought and accepted money from a fund designed to help small business owners harmed by the attacks. Using one of your companies – 40 Wall Street LLC, through which you own a skyscraper in Manhattan – you obtained funds from the World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant program.
 
It’s been reported that on your grant application, you claimed 40 Wall Street LLC – which employed 28 people and had $26.8 million in annual revenues at the time – as a “small business.” Despite the federal definition of a small business as having less than $6 million in revenue, you accepted a $150,000 payout.
 
In grabbing that money with both fists, you took it out of the pockets of small business owners in New York who were truly hurting, and prevented them from taking full advantage of the relief so generously offered by their fellow citizens.
 
You claim to be one of the biggest, richest, most successful developers in the city – yet you took taxpayer money from a grant program designed to help the “little guys.” Do you really consider yourself a small businessman? You have staked your reputation and your campaign on being anything but.
 
Of course, without releasing your tax returns, the true size of your success will remain a mystery. But in the meantime, we must conclude that you eagerly helped yourself to money meant to comfort those who lost so much in one of the worst national tragedies in our history.
 
Moreover, we know you did not use that public money to rehabilitate the allegedly “small business” at 40 Wall Street. Shortly after the attacks, you told a TV reporter that none of your properties were affected by the attacks. If you don’t remember saying that, you can watch the video on YouTube. Later, in 2005, you valued that same property – 40 Wall Street – at $400 million.
 
So if your “small business” was never damaged, why did you take taxpayers’ money?
 
I speak for New York’s 10th Congressional District – which includes the site of the Twin Towers and your skyscraper at 40 Wall Street – and all of its citizens and business owners, and as one of the lead authors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, helping the real victims and heroes who continue to suffer from those devastating attacks, when I make the following demand: Return the funds you received or donate them to a charitable organization dedicated to providing legitimate support for the victims of 9/11.
 
Throughout your campaign, you have cited your credentials as a New Yorker, and have said that “New York values were on display for all to see in the aftermath of 9/11.”
 
In those dark days, New York did show the nation our very best.  But your exploitation of our bravest and most generous citizens shows us all we need to know about what lies within your heart.  We should all expect better – especially from someone running to be our President.
 
Whatever the size of your business, we need no further proof that you are a small man.
 
With great respect for the people of New York,
Congressman Jerrold Nadler

 

Trump responded that his business at 40 Wall Street had few employees.

Crowley, 54, has served in Congress since 1998 representing New York City. His speech Tuesday, called “moving” by local news site AM New York, was the first of three that discussed Clinton’s response to 9/11.

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This BBSNews article was syndicated from MintPress News, and written by International Business Times. Read the original article here.