Documents Dispute Trump's Claims That He Received $150,000 From a 9/11 Recovery Grant Because of His Charity

Donald Trump says he received $150,000 in post-9/11 funds because he helped those in need. Documents show that's untrue.

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Following a 2006 exposé by the New York Daily News, Donald Trump was accused of cashing in on the 9/11 terrorist attacks by taking taxpayer-funded money and using it for losses he didn’t actually suffer. The report found that Trump had received $150,000 from a government grant that was intended to help small businesses recover from the 2001 tragedy. Since then, the GOP presidential nominee has consistently stated he received the money because of the help he provided to those who were in need.

In an interview with TIME magazine, Trump said he was given $150,000 through the World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant, and that the money was meant for The Trump Building, where he allowed “many people, for many months to stay.” He went on to say he considered the money as a “reimbursement” and that the “value of what [he] did was far greater than the money talked about, much of which was sent automatically to building owners in the area.”

But according to documents obtained by the Daily News from the Empire State Development Corporation, those claims are untrue. The publication cites the forms submitted to the New York state government requesting the money for the Trump Building. In those documents, Trump’s company asked for funds not so he could be reimbursed for his charitable, but rather to cover “rent loss,” “cleanup,” and “repair.” Trump has also said the property, which is less than a mile from the World Trade Center site, wasn't affected by the attacks.

On the second night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley publicly accused Trump of taking advantage of the grant.

“Where was Donald Trump in the days and months and years after 9/11?” Crowley said during his speech. “He didn’t stand at the pile. He didn’t lobby Congress for help for the first responders. Nope. He cashed in, collecting $150,000 in federal funds intended to help small businesses recover […]”

Though the federal definition of a small business is one that makes less than six million in annual revenue, the grant defined it as one that had less than 500 employees. Additionally, applicants had to be located on or south of 14th Street in Lower Manhattan, as well as endured physical or economic loss (Trump argues the latter). Under these requirements, Trump’s company was eligible for the grant as it had only 28 employees at the time; however, many people say they’re outraged because Trump’s "reimbursement" claim isn’t supported by the forms his company submitted.

“This is just yet another outrage in the consistent pattern he has of not telling the truth, and really showing almost every time he opens his mouth that he's somebody that's not worthy to be the President of the United States,” said Sen. Cory Booker told the Daily News. “A lie about an issue around 9/11 is despicable.”

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