Trump to mark 9/11 anniversary at Pentagon

Trump to mark 9/11 anniversary at Pentagon
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE is scheduled to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks with a moment of silence followed by a ceremony at the Pentagon on Wednesday. 

The president will take part in a moment of silence on Wednesday morning that coincides with the time that the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center.

ADVERTISEMENT

He will then deliver remarks at the Pentagon “honoring the nearly 3,000 lives that were tragically stolen from us on September 11, 2001,” according to a White House spokesman.

This year's anniversary comes days after Trump canceled a planned meeting at Camp David where he had hoped to host officials from the Taliban for Afghanistan peace negotiations. 

Trump announced the cancelation on Saturday. 

He's since faced a backlash for inviting Taliban leaders to come to the United States so close to the 9/11 anniversary, though many Republicans have sought to walk a tightrope amid the controversy by complimenting him for canceling the meeting after the militant group carried out a suicide attack that killed a dozen people, including one American service member. 

Trump, a native New Yorker, regularly praises first responders for their courage at the World Trade Center, and earlier this year held a Rose Garden ceremony to sign a reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. 

Last year, he attended a ceremony in Shanksville, Pa., the site where United Flight 93 crashed, and in 2017 he spoke at the Pentagon to mark the anniversary of the attacks.

Trump has also sparked controversy with past remarks about Sept. 11.

He has claimed that "thousands of people were cheering" in areas with "large Arab populations" in New Jersey when the Twin Towers fell, though there is no record of such a response and PolitiFact has rated the claim "Pants on Fire."

In a phone interview with a New York television station on the day of the attacks, Trump said that the collapse of the towers made a building he owned the tallest in lower Manhattan.

This year’s annual commemoration of 9/11 coincides with a decisive moment in Trump’s policy toward Afghanistan.

Trump campaigned on a pledge to end the long-running war in Afghanistan that started following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But on Monday he pronounced the talks “dead” after a U.S. soldier was killed in a bombing in Kabul carried out by the Taliban.

“Afghanistan is a very interesting situation. We’ve been there for 19 years. Nineteen years. And we’re now really policemen in Afghanistan,” Trump told reporters Monday.

“So what’s happening is this: We’re talking. We’re talking to the government. We’re talking to a lot of different people. And we’ll see,” he continued. “But I canceled Camp David on the basis that they did something that they sure as hell shouldn’t have done.”

The fallout from the decision rippled into Tuesday when Trump said he had fired his national security adviser, John BoltonJohn BoltonAre Democrats building a collapsible impeachment? Live coverage: House holds first public impeachment hearing Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump tweeted. “I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning.”

Bolton was reportedly among the officials vehemently opposed to Trump’s decision to invite the Taliban for talks at Camp David. While the two men had clear differences on strategy toward Iran and North Korea, the split over talks regarding Afghanistan appeared to be the final straw that triggered Bolton’s ouster.