It’s been 17 years since the horrific events of September 11th, and millions of Americans are paying tribute to the lives lost in the attack. But perhaps as expected, Trump’s tweets commemorating the tragedy completely missed the mark.
Trump began the day by tweeting about the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He used these tweets to assert his innocence and attack the Department of Justice and FBI. Then, in his first actual mention of 9/11, he retweeted a post from White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino about how he (Trump) designated the day “Patriot Day 2018.” POTUS added the hashtags #NeverForget and #9/11 to the post, but otherwise had no commentary.
Later, the 45th president praised his lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, for his handling of the tragedy.
The president also shared a picture of himself and First Lady Melania Trump preparing to leave the White House for a Flight 93 September 11th Memorial Service in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. His next tweet simply read, “17 years since September 11th!” Notably, Trump mentioned neither the victims of the attacks nor the first responders in his tweets.
CNN reported that, upon arriving in Shanksville, Trump greeted waiting supporters with a double fist pump as he stepped off the plane.
Trump’s behavior struck many Twitter users as insensitive.
Once at the Shanksville memorial service, USA Today notes that Trump stuck to his prepared remarks, hailing the deceased passengers of Flight 93 as heroes and condemning “radical Islamic terrorism.”
As HuffPost pointed out, Trump has a history of making insensitive comments on 9/11. After the initial disaster in 2001, the real estate tycoon claimed that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey cheered when the Twin Towers fell. He also bragged that Trump Tower was the tallest building in New York after the attack.
Trump’s insensitivity aside, we’re taking today to remember all those who lost their lives, and all those first responders who worked to save people in the aftermath of this tragedy. If you’re looking for a more satisfying, compassionate memorial to the tragedy, see Barack Obama’s tweet from earlier here.