Sometimes it feels like the press has just completely surrendered to Donald Trump's relentless lies, and that reporters have essentially thrown up their hands, signaling that Trump has complete permission to fabricate whatever wild fantasies he wants and journalists won't really do much. Perhaps it's one part laziness, one part exhaustion? But watching what unfolded on Sept. 11, last week really highlighted just how detached from reality Trump is, and how little the press seems to care.
Speaking to dignitaries and survivors of the 9/11 blast at the Pentagon, Trump, in a brazen piece of self-aggrandizement, once again lied about how helped clear the rubble at Ground Zero. “Soon after, I went down to Ground Zero with men who worked for me to try to help in any little way that we could,” Trump claimed.
This is what the Walter Mitty of American politics said back in 2016:
Everyone who helped clear the rubble — and I was there, and I watched, and I helped a little bit — but I want to tell you: Those people were amazing. Clearing the rubble. Trying to find additional lives. You didn't know what was going to come down on all of us — and they handled it.
It's a complete fabrication. The only times Trump was documented as being down at Ground Zero in the immediate wake of the terror attack was to give media interviews, dressed in a suit and tie. Also, the idea that he sent a brigade of his “men” to help with the search and rescue is a joke because the Trump Organization at the time only had a dozen or so employees.
Trump has lied steadily about 9/11 over the years, and not just about his phony bravery. There are numerous other 9/11 untruths that fight for his attention, like his claim that “hundreds” of his friends died during the attack. (He can't name a single one.) Like his lie that the (nonexistent) wives of the 9/11 terrorists were tipped off ahead of time. And of course his infamous 2016 campaign lie that “thousands” of Muslims were celebrating the 9/11 attack in the streets of Jersey City, New Jersey.
You know that if a President Hillary Clinton ever lied about assisting first responders on 9/11, The New York Times, for instance, would've likely published articles of impeachment written by its own reporters and published them on the front page. There would have been weeks worth of analytical pieces about what personality shortcoming would cause a person to act in such a desperate and manic way. But with Trump, it barely qualified as news.