Rudy Giuliani apologizes after saying Hillary Clinton wasn't in New York on 9/11 (she was there the next day)

The ex-mayor who warned us to never forget the terrorist attacks has forgotten what he said about them

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published October 13, 2016 12:40PM (EDT)

Rudy Giuliani speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 18, 2016.   (AP/Carolyn Kaster)
Rudy Giuliani speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 18, 2016. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor and Trump super-surrogate, has apologized for saying that Hillary Clinton wasn’t in the city after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — even though she was right next to him the next day.

"I made a mistake. I'm wrong and I apologize," Giuliani told the Associated Press on Wednesday night, later adding that he “probably deserve[s]” all the heat he’s getting.

The kerfuffle started when Giuliani accused Clinton of lying about going to Ground Zero on the day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling a Florida rally, “I heard her say she was there that day. I was there that day, I don’t remember seeing Hillary Clinton.”

The Democratic presidential nominee, who was a U.S. senator at the time, was in Washington that day, and Twitter users were quick to point to an iconic photograph of Giuliani and Clinton walking side-by-side, wearing surgical masks, the day after the attacks.

Earlier this year, Giuliani praised former senator Clinton (along with her Senate colleague Chuck Schumer and the rest of Congress at the time) for being “enormously helpful” in the wake of that event.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Giuliani, who has stuck by his support for Donald Trump's presidential campaign even as much of the Republican Party establishment has fled from it. He has also recently taken flak for characterizing Trump’s recorded bragging about committing sexual assault as “exaggerated,” adding more controversy to the legacy of a man once widely regarded as “America’s mayor.”

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, World War II historian Joshua Levine (consultant to "Dunkirk"), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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9/11 Donald Trump Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Rudy Giuliani September 11