During a Donald Trump rally Wednesday afternoon in Ocala, Florida, Rudy Giuliani used the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against Hillary Clinton in a very dishonest way.
Giuliani, New York City’s mayor at the time, made a case that Clinton doesn’t “belong to our very, very tight group of ‘never forget’” because the then-New York senator wasn’t actually at Ground Zero on the day the World Trade Center buildings came down.
“I remember September 11, 2001,” Giuliani said. “Yes, yes you helped to get benefits for the people who were injured that day. But I heard her say she was there that day. I was there that day, I don’t remember seeing Hillary Clinton there.”
Rudy Giuliani: "I was there" on 9/11, "I don't remember seeing Hillary Clinton there." https://t.co/iRB09cQ8eH
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 12, 2016
As far as ThinkProgress could discern, there’s no record of Hillary Clinton ever saying she was at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. Indeed, Clinton was not in New York City that day. A Politico Magazine report published last month details where she was:
Clinton, meanwhile, was down in Washington, at her home on Whitehaven. She had CNN on as she talked on the phone with her legislative director when the first plane hit. Then the second. By the time she got to the Capitol, the Pentagon had been hit by a third plane. Capitol police were evacuating Senate office buildings. She dialed her daughter, who was in New York. She dialed her husband, who was in Australia. She and other senators received a briefing at the Capitol police station early in the evening. And after “a day indelibly etched in my mind,” and as nightfall approached, Clinton joined congressional colleagues on the steps of the Capitol, standing next to some of her fiercest political opponents, singing “God Bless America” with tears in her eyes.
But as Clinton detailed during a recent interview with CNN, she traveled to Ground Zero the very next day. In fact, numerous photos of her at the site with Giuliani exist.
Here is a picture of Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton walking together through NYC post-9/11, after Clinton had flown back from DC pic.twitter.com/03gKLAwlQJ
— Jose A. DelReal (@jdelreal) October 12, 2016
“There weren’t that many survivors; the ones that did survive were grievously injured. The loss of life was overwhelming,” Clinton told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, detailing what she saw on September 12. “But it was also my job and the job of other officials to get our city and state and country what we needed.”
Even if Clinton wanted to travel to Ground Zero on September 11, she wouldn’t have been able to do so for reasons detailed by the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.
“Literally no one but Rudy was down there on 9/11 among electeds, bc buildings were falling on people and the whole area was [evacuated],” Haberman tweeted.
And by "down there" I mean at Ground Zero. Giuliani was supposed to do a presser but when buildings began falling he had to walk north
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 12, 2016
This isn’t the first time in recent months Giuliani has put his foot in his mouth talking about 9/11 in his role as a Trump surrogate. While praising Mike Pence for his work on the Patriot Act in August, Giuliani said, “By the way, under those eight years before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office.”
Giuliani forgot that on September 11, 2001, George W. Bush was most definitely president, not Clinton or Obama.