The Cable

Trump on President Bush and 9/11: ‘The World Trade Center Came Down During His Reign’

GOP front-runner Donald Trump hints former President George W. Bush is responsible for 9/11 attacks.


Donald Trump continued his scorched-earth rampage in quest of the GOP presidential nomination, further disrupting the Republican Party by hinting that former President George W. Bush was responsible for allowing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Speaking during an interview aired on Bloomberg television Friday, Trump was asked by anchor Stephanie Ruhle how he would make Americans feel safe during crises. The real estate mogul and beauty pageant organizer responded, “I think I have a bigger heart than all of them. I think I’m much more competent than all of them. When you talk about George Bush — I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time.”

“Hold on, you can’t blame George Bush for that,” Ruhle interrupted.

Trump shrugged. “He was president, OK? … Blame him or don’t blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign,” Trump said. A video of the exchange is below.

The 2001 terrorist attacks and the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are issues that have proved difficult for Republican candidates to navigate. Those running, including Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, George W. Bush’s brother, walk a fine line with the U.S. response to the attacks, saying the Iraq War was justified by the intelligence America had at the time. One of Jeb Bush’s memorable, if slightly awkward, moments in the second GOP debate came when he defended his brother’s national security record as president, saying, “You know what? As it relates to my brother, there is one thing I know for sure, he kept us safe.”

Bush, of course, wasn’t the only president in Trump’s crosshairs during the interview. He also blasted President Barack Obama for his response to the Sandy Hook school shooting that left 26 people dead in 2012.

“If you look at Sandy Hook, those people are still begging for help. It’s a disaster, and it’s a disaster all over the place,” Trump said, referring to the shooting.

“Government has proven to be a disaster during the Obama administration,” he continued, before reiterating his hat-logo campaign slogan. “And we will be great again. This country will be great again. We have tremendous potential, we have tremendous people. What we need is a leader. We don’t have a leader.”

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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