Donald Trump quickly changed his tune but on the morning of the 9/11 attacks he had some interesting comments to make. From his office he witnessed the planes hit the World Trade Center and decided to call in to WWOR/UPN 9 News to tell them what he saw.
The news reporter asked: Donald, you're probably the best-known builder, particularly of great buildings in the city. There's a great deal of question about whether or not the damage and the ultimate destruction of the buildings was caused by the airplanes, by architectural defect, or possibly by bombs or aftershocks. Do you have any thoughts on that?
Trump responded: Well, it was not an architectural defect. The World Trade Center was always known as a very, very strong building. Don't forget that it took a big bomb in the basement. Now, the basement is the most vulnerable place because that's your foundation, and it withstood that. And I got to see that area about three or four days after it took place because one of my structural engineers actually took me for a tour because he did the building. And I said, I can't believe it. The building was standing solid and half of the columns were blown out. And so this was an unbelievably powerful building.
If you know anything about structure, it was one of the first buildings that was built from the outside. The steel, the reason the World Trade Center had such narrow windows, is that in between all the windows you had this steel on the outside of the building. That's why, when I first looked and you had big, heavy I-beams, when I first looked at it, I couldn't believe it because there was a hole in the steel. And this is steel that was, you remember the width of the windows of the World Trade Center, folks. I think you know, if you were ever up there, they were quite narrow. And in between was this heavy steel. I said, how could a plane, even a 767 or 747 or whatever it might have been, how could it possibly go through the steel?
I happen to think that they had not only a plane, but they had bombs that exploded almost simultaneously because I just can't imagine anything being able to go through that wall. Most buildings are built with the steel on the inside around the elevator shaft. This one was built from the outside, which is the strongest structure you can have. And it was almost just like a can of soup.
The reporter asks: We were looking at pictures all morning long of that plane coming into building number two. And when you see that approach the far side and then all of a sudden, within a matter of milliseconds, the explosion pops out the other side. What do you think?
Trump says: I just think that it was a plane with more than just fuel. I think obviously they were very big planes, they were going very rapidly because I was also watching where the plane seemed to be not only going fast, it seemed to be coming down into the building. So it was getting the speed from going downhill, so to speak. It just seemed to me that to do that kind of destruction is even more than a big plane because you're talking about taking out that steel, the heaviest calibre steel that was used on a building. I mean, these buildings were rock- solid. And it's just an amazing thing. This country is different today, and it's going to be different than it ever was for many years to come.
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