Donald Trump has been known to hype things on the campaign trail at his wildly popular rallies, of that there is no doubt.
But two days after Sept. 11, 2001, a very sober and cogent Trump was at Ground Zero watching his “men” – “hundreds” of workers he’d sent to the remains of the World Trade Center buildings to help find victims.
He told NBC News it was a scene of devastation:
“I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve seen two huge 110-story buildings that a reduced to rubble, thousands and thousands of lives, I just got to see something that I’ve never seen before, I have hundreds of men inside working right now and we’re bringing down another 125 in a little while.”
He said his people were doing a dangerous job:
“Not only is it devastation but it’s very dangerous because every few minutes a whistle would go off and everybody would just run because you have all the buildings around it which are in such a weakened state that people just don’t know. ... And then they come back, and they’re working under 50-story buildings and you don’t know if they’re going to fall down, so it’s a terrible thing for the workers and a terrible thing for the world.”
He said he was worried about the kinds of horrific things his workers saw at Ground Zero:
“They’ve never seen bodies like this. ... I mean the great thing is when they find somebody that’s alive like the firemen they just found a little while ago. That’s the great thing and that’s what they’re all striving for, but generally speaking that’s not the case. They are working very, very hard but it’s a very, very depressing situation for these folks.”
But he told the NBC reporter that people wondering about their loved ones at Ground Zero shouldn’t give up hope:
“... You can’t give up hope. Because there’s always hope. ... There probably are some more people in there and therefore you can’t give up hope."
Monday, President Trump reiterated America’s resolve to stay united during a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the Pentagon.
He reminded those gathered about the recent storms and how people had pulled together, according to The Washington Times:
“When Americans are in need, Americans pull together — and we are one country. And when we face hardship, we emerge closer, stronger, and more determined than ever.”
And speaking as one who had been at Ground Zero right after the attack, Trump said of that day:
“On that day, not only did the world change, but we all changed. Our eyes were opened to the depths of the evil we face. But in that hour of darkness, we also came together with renewed purpose. Our differences never looked so small, our common bonds never felt so strong.”
Sounds like the same Donald Trump.
Watch his full comments from 9/11 below, via NBC News.