Eschewing the usual horde of media that follows his campaign, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump privately toured New York’s September 11 Memorial & Museum on Saturday and made a $100,000 donation to its foundation.
The tour, which the press was barred from attending, While Trump’s rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who in a January debate denigrated Trump’s “New York values.” In that debate, Trump responded forcefully, defending the city’s response in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Trump and his wife, Melania, received a private tour from the museum’s director, Joe Daniels, which lasted about 30 minutes. The New York Times reported it was Trump’s first visit to the museum. He did not stop at the outdoor portion of the memorial on a rainy Saturday in Manhattan.
A museum spokesman confirmed Trump’s donation.
While the official statement from Trump’s campaign did not mention Cruz by name, the visit underscores the comments Cruz made, which were meant to rile conservatives in other parts of the country leery of politicians hailing from overwhelmingly liberal New York City. Now that the primary race has turned to Trump’s native New York, he has raised Cruz’s shot as a reminder of his feelings about New York City.
Trump’s campaign circulated a photo of him inside the museum, with a blunt statement, saying rebuilding at Ground Zero after the attacks was “what ‘New York values’ are really all about.”
The event was not listed on Trump’s public schedule released by the campaign. Reporters who were invited to the tour late Friday were forced to wait in a media van while the Trumps toured the museum.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was in charge during the attacks and has recently said he plans to vote for Trump in the primary April 19, called the decision to keep politics — and the media — at a distance during the tour “classy.” Giuliani called on all the candidates to visit Ground Zero “to show respect.”