OCALA, Fla. — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani issued an unusual attack on Hillary Clinton, suggesting she lied about being at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Appearing on stage ahead of Donald Trump at a Tuesday rally in what is a must-win state for the Republican presidential nominee, Giuliani repeatedly cited Clinton staff emails revealed through a WikiLeaks dump as proof that she has been lying to the country about everything from her use of a private email system to her foreign policy views.
Giuliani then brought up 9/11, suggesting she had overplayed her role in the aftermath of the attacks.
“Don’t tell me … you remember Sept. 11, 2001. I remember Sept. 11, 2001,” Giuliani said. “I heard her say she was there that day. I was there that day. I don’t remember seeing Hillary Clinton there.”
“That was like when she said she had to run through gunfire,” Giuliani added, as the crowd loudly booed. “That turned out to be, what do we call it? A lie.”
Though Giuliani gave credit to the then-New York senator for helping get benefits for first responders and others injured at the site, he suggested that Clinton had little emotional connection to the attacks.
“Don’t tell me you subscribe to the notion that all of us who were with on Sept. 11 (that) we’re lucky to be alive and have lost so many friends,” the former mayor said. “I lost so many friends on Sept. 11. I think about it every day. Don’t tell me you belong to our very, very tight group of ‘never forget.’ Don’t tell me that.”
On social media, many people noted that Giuliani and Clinton were photographed at Ground Zero on Sept. 12, 2001.
Clinton was working in Washington, D.C., when the first plane hit the World Trade Center buildings. She and her fellow New York senator, Chuck Schumer, flew back to New York the next day and saw the destruction firsthand.
On Wednesday, the Clinton campaign pointed to Giuliani’s past praise for Clinton’s actions in the aftermath of the attack:
Giuliani today and Giuliani in July pic.twitter.com/xyrBRH3tui
— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) October 12, 2016
Giuliani’s criticism came as Trump and his campaign have stepped up their personal attacks on Clinton’s character in recent days. Though Trump has frequently attacked Clinton as dishonest throughout the campaign, he and his surrogates, led by Giuliani, have gone after her in more extreme terms in the last two days.
In Panama City, Fla., on Tuesday night, Giuliani suggested she had gotten so good at mistruths that it’s “impossible to know when Hillary Clinton is telling the truth.”
“We may be dealing with a pathological liar,” Giuliani declared. “She could possibly pass a polygraph test while she was lying. It’s possible!”