Donald Trump can’t seem to get the facts straight concerning the terrorist attacks that occurred in the morning hours of September 11, 2001. In several interviews and speeches over the past week, the top Republican candidate for president made some key errors in his comments regarding the events, which many fact checkers quickly noticed.
The September 11 attacks, as many will recall, involved a total of four planes that were hijacked and flown into several targets across the eastern coast of the United States. Two of the planes were flown directly into the World Trade Center skyscrapers in New York City, the third plane hit the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed into an empty field in Pennsylvania.
Despite the fact that Trump is native to New York and lives in Manhattan, he still managed to get some of these basic details about the attacks wrong. According to the New York Times, Trump made his first mistake during an interview on Face the Nation. In speaking about the attacks, Trump explained how a few of the terrorists sent their wives back home prior to the attacks.
“And those wives went home to watch their husbands knock down the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and wherever the third plane was going, except we had some very, very brave passengers, wherever that third plane was going,” Trump stated.
The third plane that Trump mentioned was not the third plane at all and was actually the last one to crash. The third plane was the one that hit the Pentagon.
Things only got worse for Trump, who made another simple error about the attacks this past Tuesday evening. Trump was talking to a crowd in New Hampshire when a man asked the candidate about how the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Japan at the close of World War II. In reply, Trump recalled the attack on Pearl Harbor and told the audience that the attacks on September 11 were worse than Pearl Harbor, the former of which killed “innocent civilians having dinner.”
The terrorist attacks on September 11 started during the morning hours and were finished by 10:05 a.m.
That being said, it appears as though Donald Trump is just confused about the timing of the attacks altogether. In fact, Trump told a crowd during a rally in Macon, Georgia, that the September 11 attacks were perpetrated “on innocent people working in an office and having lunch up on top of the world.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s latest comments are only a few that have been on the radar of many fact checkers. According to CNN, the American Press Institute recently hosted a fact checking event in Washington D.C. where Trump dominated the conversation.
“You can’t have a meeting of fact-checkers and not talk about Trump,” stated Aaron Sharockman, the director of a leading fact-checking organization.
“Trump is an interesting case for us, because he’s such an untraditional politician,” Sharockman added. “All you have to do is watch his campaign rallies. His talks appear largely unscripted and are often meandering. It’s a stream-of-consciousness style that you don’t see elsewhere on the trail. And, frankly, I think it leads to factual errors.”
In regards to his comments on September 11, Trump received the “pants on fire” rating by Sharockman’s organization, PolitiFact, over his assertions that “thousands” of New Jersey citizens exclaimed their support for the attacks. Although Trump has defended this position, there is no documentation or evidence that people in New Jersey showed up in mass to support the attacks.
Despite these blatant errors, Trump’s campaign has suffered little backlash from the public on his comments, and he has refused to admit when he is wrong.
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[Photo by Cliff Owen/AP Images]