Trump plays up personal connection to Ground Zero

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump welcomes first responders before signing H.R. 1327, an act ensuring that a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, July 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump emphasized his personal connections to the World Trade Center site as he signed legislation Monday to ensure the Sept. 11 victims’ compensation fund never runs out of money.

Trump said: “I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder.”

Trump praised the first responders as “selfless patriots,” adding: “I grew up with them so I can tell you that’s absolutely true. It’s always nice to really know your subject.”

News accounts from days after 9/11 include references to Trump giving high-fives to police officers and volunteers on their way to the site. But some past Trump’s statements about his 9/11 experiences cannot be verified, including claims he sent construction crews to help and that he had “hundreds” of friends die at Ground Zero.

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