Friday, May 27, 2016

Congressman Rebukes Donald Trump, Saying He Received 9/11 Aid Intended for Small Businesses

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, a Democrat whose district includes Lower Manhattan, has written a scathing open letter denouncing Donald J. Trump for receiving grant money intended for small-business owners after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. Nadler’s broadside against Mr. Trump is the latest salvo in efforts by Democrats to illustrate his use of various loopholes over the years to help his businesses.

Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, frequently invoked New York’s post-9/11 resilience to combat criticism from his primary rivals over his New York roots.

Mr. Nadler described those words by Mr. Trump as “exploitation” of the city’s darkest day.

“When do you plan on returning the taxpayer money that was designated to ease the suffering of our city’s small-business owners?” Mr. Nadler wrote in the letter, a copy of which his office provided to The New York Times.

He was referring to reports that Mr. Trump had received $150,000 from the World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant program for his property at 40 Wall Street.

“It’s been reported that on your grant application, you claimed 40 Wall Street L.L.C. — which employed 28 people and had $26.8 million in annual revenues at the time — as a ‘small business,’” Mr. Nadler wrote. “Despite the federal definition of a small business as having less than $6 million in revenue, you accepted a $150,000 payout.”

He added, “In grabbing that money with both fists, you took it out of the pockets of small-business owners in New York who were truly hurting, and prevented them from taking full advantage of the relief so generously offered by their fellow citizens.”

Mr. Nadler pointed out that Mr. Trump had later been quoted in a television interview saying none of his properties were harmed in the attacks. Mr. Nadler also made a demand: “Return the funds you received or donate them to a charitable organization dedicated to providing legitimate support for the victims of 9/11.”

Mr. Trump recently made his first trip and first donation to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, at the site of the devastation. He has not taken a position on the proposed extension of a bill providing health benefits to recovery workers who became ill at the World Trade Center site during the months of cleanup.

In response to Mr. Nadler, Mr. Trump said, “The company received this small amount of money after qualifying, given the limited number of employees working at the property,” he said, adding, “For many months, I allowed people to stay in the building, use the building and store things in the building.”

“I was happy to do it and to this day I am still being thanked for the many people I helped. The value of what I did was far greater than the money talked about,” he said.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/us/politics/jerrold-nadler-donald-trump-sept-11.html?_r=1&referer=http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/

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