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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke September 28, 2023

Donald Trump’s 9/11 speculation is not evidence of an ‘inside job’

If Your Time is short

  • Former President Donald Trump speculated in 2001 that the World Trade Center’s twin towers were felled by bombs and planes. 

  • Investigation showed the buildings collapsed following fires caused by the collisions, not bombs. 

On Sept. 11, 2001, long before he was president, Donald Trump gave a phone interview about the World Trade Center attack. Now, his comments are being used on social media to support the unfounded conspiracy theory that the terrorist attack was actually "an inside job." 

"Donald Trump exposes why 9/11 was an inside job," a Sept. 24 Instagram post said.  

The post included an audio clip from an interview Trump gave over the phone to WWOR-TV that day.

"Donald, you’re probably the best known builder particularly of great buildings in this city. There’s a great deal of question over whether or not the damage and ultimate destruction of the buildings was caused by the airplanes, by architectural defects, or possibly by bombs or aftershock," said Alan Marcus, the host and Trump’s friend and former publicist. "Do you have any thoughts on that?" 

"It wasn’t architectural defects, you know, the World Trade Center was always known as a very, very strong building," Trump responded. 

He alluded to the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center when a bomb exploded in a basement parking garage, and then wonders how a plane in 2001 "could possibly go through the steel" of the World Trade Center.

"I happen to think that not only did they have a plane, they had bombs exploded almost simultaneously," Trump said. "I just can’t imagine anything being able to go through that wall."

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We’ve dug into this issue before. 

The World Trade Center complex, completed in 1973, was designed to withstand the impact of an airplane — specifically a Boeing 707, which was the largest aircraft in service at the time but smaller and lighter than the Boeing 767 models that struck the twin towers in 2001.

The towers remained standing for some time after the planes hit them, and thousands of people were able to escape. But fires caused by the collisions, not bombs, ultimately led to the buildings collapsing, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final 9/11 report

In 2006, the PBS show "Nova" debunked the conspiracy theory that bombs destroyed the twin towers. Shyam Sunder, then lead investigator for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which investigated the towers’ collapse, said on the show that "the main reason for the collapse of the buildings were really the impact damage that was caused by the airplanes followed by the dislodged fireproofing and the large multifloor fires that spread throughout the building."  

"The combination of these factors led to the sagging of the floors because of the thermal heat, and the inward bowing of the external columns, which caused the columns to ultimately fail," Sunder said. 

We rate this post False.


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