Donald Trump’s response to a fatal fire at his New York City Trump Tower has been nothing short of tone-deaf and self-congratulatory even in the face of a man dying. However, it’s nothing more or nothing less than what should be expected of Donald Trump.
As CNN reported, the fire at Trump Tower Sunday left one resident dead and six firefighters injured. The firefighters’ injuries are not considered life-threatening.
As of this writing, a cause of the fire has not yet been determined, according to CBS News. However, it appears that the building was built before New York City’s building codes required hard-wired water sprinklers in new buildings. The fire was considered “contained” as of 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday night.
The fire claimed the life of Todd Brassner, 67, who had lived in a $2.5 million apartment on the building’s 50th floor.
Unfortunately, even though a man died, Trump decided to make the story about him.
First, he congratulated himself for a “well-built building.”
“Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!”
Well-built except for those sprinklers, which may have saved Brassner’s life. As The New York Post reporteds, Trump was vehemently against being required to add sprinklers to buildings he built or renovated. In the 1990’s. He spent “thousands of dollars” lobbying the City Council not to require sprinklers – which would have cost about $4 per square foot at the time (or $6 per square foot in today’s money).
To review: There was a fire in the residential section Trump Tower where there are no sprinklers, in part because Trump lobbied against regs requiring them. Someone died, which Trump didn’t mention, instead praising the safety of his building. https://t.co/KMBe7O6Im7
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 8, 2018
In fact, describing any Trump property as “well-built” may be a bit of a stretch. According to a February 2017 New York Magazine report, Trump properties often favor the appearance of opulence over solid construction. For example, at Trump Parc (106 Central Park South), residents complain that the walls are too thin, the plumbing is sub-par, and that corners were cut in order to give the appearance of luxury.
“If you have a plumber come look at it, he’s going to say, ‘Who the hell did this? This is like spit and chewing gum.'”
Accusations of shoddy construction and corner-cutting safety measures aside, Trump’s tone-deaf response to the fatal fire reveals Trump’s obsessive need to make every story about him.
For example, you may recall that Trump famously bragged that he would have run into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, to take on the school shooter, as CNN reported at the time. Those are pretty bold words coming from “Cadet Bone Spurs,” who managed to rack up five deferments to keep out of going to Vietnam.
It’s abundantly clear that Donald Trump’s biggest fan is none other than Donald Trump. Unfortunately, that means that just about any news story is going to be turned into a self-congratulatory story about Donald Trump, regardless of how little or how much he had to do with it. In the Parkland case, it amounted to little more than bragging that can’t be backed up by fact-check because it was a matter of “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” as they say.
But in the case of Trump Tower, it’s clear that Trump’s corner-cutting and penchant for style over substance quite possibly may have played a role in a man’s death. Yet, rather than mention the victim by name, Trump chose instead to congratulate himself on a “well-built building” – one that likely wasn’t well-built at all.
But hey, at least Trump got to talk about himself.