Donald Trump has led tributes to the 9/11 victims on the 16th anniversary of the terror attacks, saying the USA grieves for the people "murdered by terrorists" in 2001.
On September 11, 2001, just hours after terrorists brought down the World Trade Center, Donald Trump seemed to brag that one of his buildings was now the tallest in downtown Manhattan.
Later on Monday, Trump and first lady Melania Trump, surrounded by White House aides and other administration officials observed a moment of silence at the White House at the exact moment that a hijacked airplane was slammed into the World Trade Center.
"We mourn them, we honor them, and we pledge to never, ever forget them", Trump said in his remarks.
As they read, some said they couldn't believe 16 years had passed since a tragedy that still seemed, on the anniversary, so present.
Trump often lauds the bravery of NY police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders who rushed to the Twin Towers to help as an example of the resilience of the city where he made a name for himself. "I hope as we commemorate the 16th anniversary of 9-11, everyone will stop for a moment and remember all the people who gave their lives that day".
In the years that followed, Trump's views on terrorism hardened and his claims about 9/11 grew more outlandish and untrue.
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"Maybe then we can put away our disagreements and become one country again".
"It did happen. I saw it", Trump said then.
Magaly Lemagne, who lost her policeman brother David Prudencio Lemagne, said: "Our country came together that day". A minute later, a bell tolled as they stood near a group of White House staffers and invited guests who bowed their heads as a Marine trumpeter played taps.
He has also criticized President George W. Bush's handling of the attacks and has accused the former president of failing in his duty to keep Americans safe.
Trump also said he lost "hundreds of friends" in the attack and helped clear rubble afterward.
"The goal of that is to give the president a sense of the terrorist threat globally and to the homeland", said Tom Bossert, Trump's homeland security adviser.
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