Donald Trump has been talking (and tweeting) about 9/11 an awful lot lately, mostly in response to a relentlessly scrutinized comment that Ted Cruz made about “New York values.” Cruz has pointed out that he was making the same point Donald Trump himself made in a 1999 interview, that liberal values and conservative values are not the same, and that New York City is dominated by liberal values. A fairly commonplace observation, and one that Trump even specifically expanded on to use the example of Iowa values as a counterpoint to the values of New Yorkers.
Trump jumped on the remark at the Republican debate last week to deliver what some took to be a heartfelt shaming of Ted Cruz for supposedly “insulting” and denigrating the memories of the lost; an exchange which most commentators and opinion writers even on the right scored as a win for Trump. (It was also a win for the left media, who took the chance to smear Cruz as “anti-semitic“.)
Whether you accept or reject the billionaire’s twisted interpretation of Senator Cruz’s remarks, IRS documents show one thing for certain: Donald Trump didn’t put his money where his mouth (currently) is.
According to a thorough review, Trump didn’t see fit to give any of those millions of dollars he is always bragging about to help out the men, women, children, cops, firefighters, office workers … hey, let’s just call them New Yorkers, who were killed or who lost someone in the terror of September 11th. In fact, his supposedly philanthropic foundation hasn’t given them a single penny.
Take, for example, this 2003 report from The Foundation Center on the “unprecedented outpouring of charitable support that followed the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.” On this list of institutional donors you will see no listing for the Donald J. Trump Charitable Foundation. That’s because he made no donation to any of the listed charities set up for victims and families of 9/11.
This donation dearth includes, and this will be important later in the article, the American Red Cross Liberty Disaster Relief Fund, specifically formed for 9/11, to which Trump’s charity also gave zero dollars.
Of course, even if the Foundation had taken part, it wouldn’t have amounted to much. According to this report from Ben Davis, Trump the “ardent philanthropist” doesn’t even pony up for his own charity, having given only $3.7 million of his own money. Ever.
In fact the only charitable donation on record even remotely connected to 9/11 is one Trump made in 2006 to the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Fund. While it may sound worthy, it was rather controversial given that it was a Scientology program that “treated” workers with L. Ron Hubbard’s “Purification Rundown.” And even if you do for some reason count that, it was only for a thousand dollars anyway.
This is not out of date information. Trump’s own “summary of net worth” statement, released as part of his campaign, lists no 9/11 donations. And the New York Daily Newsreported just last year that two separate reviews of Trump’s charitable organization “found just one donation by the Foundation to a 9/11-related cause”, the aforementioned grand to Scientology. The Associated Press also finds evidence of Trump’s supposed charitable side “elusive.’
In response to the Smoking Gun’s report that Trump had not donated to 9/11 charities, his campaign cited donations to the American Red Cross and the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Fund as evidence of his giving. These were not listed as 9/11 charities in the comprehensive report from The Foundation Center for the obvious reason that they are not 9/11 charities. You have probably given blood at the Red Cross. This does not make you a 9/11 charity donor either.
It’s a little bit like when JFK occasionally showed up for Sunday Mass and tosses in a crisp $100 bill into the collection, and everyone sitting around him was impressed. “Did you see that? The president tossed in a $100 like it was a dollar bill.” The $100 covered the many Sundays he missed going to church.