By Doktor Zoom as originally published over at Wonkette and reposted here with permission
Fire in Trump Tower worsening pic.twitter.com/6T1VsOCsuP
— Peter Thomas Roth (@PeterThomasRoth) April 7, 2018
A fire on the 50th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan killed one resident and left six firefighters with minor injuries Saturday. The residential floors of the building have no sprinkler system. The owner of the apartment, art dealer Todd Brassner, 67, reportedly hated living in Trump Tower and had been trying to sell the $2.5 million apartment after a 2015 bankruptcy. A friend of Brassner said Sunday that in 1996, Trump had called Brassner a “crazy Jew” after noticing the friend staring at Trump’s freakishly small hands.
In the only public statement Trump has made on the fire, Trump tweeted Saturday evening that his building was the best, very excellent:
Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2018
At the time Trump sent his tweet, media had already reported that one person had been hospitalized in critical condition; Brassner later died, but Trump has been too busy tweeting about Syria, Hillary Clinton, and the unfair Washington Post to mention little details like that.
The Washington Post reports that Trump had actually jumped the gun (right in the middle of 5th Avenue); New York Fire Department officials said the fire was actually not declared under control until an hour after the tweet. That seems awfully petty of them, though. Heaven knows if Hillary Clinton owned a building that had experienced two fires in 2018 and prematurely said the fire was out, then neglected to say anything about someone dying in the fire, Donald Trump certainly would not have made any fuss about such a small matter.
As to Trump’s alleged remarks about Mr. Brassner, the New York Daily News has the deets. Patrick Goldsmith, a friend of Brassner and also an art dealer, said the 1996 incident occurred in the lobby of Trump Tower as he was on his way to visit Brassner:
Goldsmith, who like Brassner opposes the President, took the opportunity to glance at Trump’s petite hands — which gained notoriety in the late 1980s and suffered another wave of scrutiny during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump reportedly became enraged when he caught Goldsmith staring and demanded the gawker’s identity from his doorman, Goldsmith said. The doorman said Goldsmith was headed to the 50th floor to see Brassner.
“Oh, that crazy Jew?” Trump asked, according to Goldsmith […]
“Apparently he already had a go-round with him about something,” Goldsmith, 64, said, adding Brassner was annoyed by an overflowing sink in his home.
White House principal deputy press secretary Rah Shah dismissed the report Sunday night while somehow failing to even acknowledge Mr. Brassner had died in a fire at Trump Tower:
Basing a front-page story maligning the President solely on a decades-old unverified claim by a critic of the President — whose own family members are Jewish — is absurd.
Goldsmith’s comments may at least provoke Trump into mentioning Brassner. We won’t be the least bit surprised if Trump tweets that Brassner was crazy, and Jewish — just like Trump’s son-in-law and daughter!! — so obviously it was no big deal. These are all the best people.
Oh, yes, and about the lack of a sprinkler system: Donald Trump personally lobbied against a 1999 law requiring sprinkler systems in high-rise buildings, because it would be expensive for poor oppressed skyscraper developers like him. He didn’t just badger city council members with phone calls; he also donated $5000 to pay off the campaign debt of the council speaker at the time. And he also had important logic about building safety:
“People feel safer with sprinklers,” Trump told the New York Times that year. ”But the problem with the bill is that it doesn’t address the buildings that need sprinklers the most. If you look at the fire deaths in New York, almost all of them are in one- or two-family houses.”
And we don’t need airline safety regulations because far more people die in car crashes. Ultimately, Trump got what he wanted: The bill that was signed by then-mayor Rudy Giuliani included an exemption for existing high-rises.
Sprinkler regulations also became an issue for Trump when he converted Mar-a-Lago from a private estate into a high-priced social club, according to a 1995 article from the Palm Beach Sun-Sentinel:
The fire code required a sprinkler system if the mansion was to become a public building. Trump hated the idea; they would be expensive and they could have spoiled the aesthetics of the place, especially the magnificent gilded ceiling in the drawing room.
“I was ready to go to war with the Town of Palm Beach over the sprinklers,” he says, but he was persuaded to give in and, as usual, he went for the best, making Mar-a-Lago’s $500,000 sprinkler system surely the world’s most pricey for a private club. “Now I like it,” says Trump. So well do the 18 heads in the drawing room ceiling blend into the ornate gold background that, in Trump’s words, “You can’t even see the suckers.”
See? He’s perfectly reasonable, at least when he really has no other choice. And when he has the option of joining with other big developers to strong-arm a more pliable city council, he does that too.
Truly a man who knows how negotiate great deals. And now he’s using those same skills to free us all from burdensome environmental and safety regulations, too.