Trump incorrectly cites stock market opening day after 9/11 in justifying campaign rally

Trump incorrectly cites stock market opening day after 9/11 in justifying campaign rally
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' MORE over the weekend inaccurately claimed that the New York Stock Exchange reopened the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as he defended his decision to hold a planned rally in the wake of Saturday's mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Speaking at a campaign rally in southern Illinois on Saturday night, Trump invoked the shooting that left 11 people dead and recounted his uncertainty over whether to hold the rally just hours after the tragedy.

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"And then I said to myself, I remember Dick Grasso, a friend of mine, great guy," Trump said. "He headed up the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 11. And the New York Stock Exchange was open the following day."

The New York Stock Exchange remained closed until Sept. 17, 2001, following the terrorist attacks that left almost 3,000 people dead.

Bloomberg first reported Trump's error, and a number of other news outlets and reporters have pointed out his inaccurate claim.

Trump told reporters before the rally that he was considering canceling the event, but ultimately decided it would give the perpetrator "too much credit."

"At first, I was thinking I'll cancel and then I said we can't let evil change our life and change our schedule," Trump said.

"You go with a heavy heart, but you go," he added. "Not that I want to go. But I think, actually in reverse, [I] have an obligation to go."

Trump condemned the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, calling it an "assault on humanity" and decrying anti-Semitism.

The president has in recent days called for unity as the nation reels from the shooting and a spate of explosive devices addressed to a number of prominent Democrats.

Trump has also repeatedly said the media is to blame for fostering hostility in the country. He has also criticized Democrats, including some of the individuals targeted by last week's pipe bombs.

Critics say Trump's frequent attacks on those two groups have further inflamed tensions.