In a video of the Republican presidential nominee that has resurfaced online, New Yorker Donald Trump — just two days after the towers fell on September 11, 2001 — visited ground zero and granted an impromptu interview to a German television crew.
“I have a lot of property down there but it wasn’t fortunately affected by what happened at the World Trade Center,” a solemn Trump tells the reporter, Stephan Bachenheimer.
“I just went to what they call ground zero,” Trump said, standing a few blocks away from the destruction. “I’ve never seen anything like it. The devastation. The human life that’s just been wasted for no reason whatsoever. It is a terrible scene. It’s a terrible sight. But New Yorkers are very and resilient and they’ll rebuild quickly.”
Asked by the reporter how he thinks the United States should respond, Trump said: “Well, I think they have to respond quickly and effectively. They have to find out exactly what the cause was, who did it, and they have to go after these people because there is no other choice. And then — secondarily and much less importantly — we have to rebuild in some form that will be just as majestic as the World Trade Center.”
On his website, Bachenheimer later recalled how he got the interview. “With smoke still rising from Ground Zero and rescue crews going in and out, my cameraman Markus Zeffler and me had been at our live location in NY, getting ready for the N24 news show that would start two minutes later,” he recalled.
Bachenheimer said he noticed Trump “about 50 yards away” who was “surrounded by a whole crowd of people.” He sent his cameraman to request an interview with Trump, and to their surprise, he agreed.
“Trump walked over…and said, ‘I don’t have much time, how long is this going to take?’ ‘A minute or so,’ I answered and then the show started….Trump turned out to be a patient fellow and a great interview partner,” Bachenheimer recalled.
In 2014, Trump shared the video of his interview with the reporter to his social media followers.