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One World Trade Center dominates the lower Manhattan skyline on Nov. 3, 2014 in this view from Jersey City, N.J., 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) One World Trade Center dominates the lower Manhattan skyline on Nov. 3, 2014 in this view from Jersey City, N.J., 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

One World Trade Center dominates the lower Manhattan skyline on Nov. 3, 2014 in this view from Jersey City, N.J., 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher January 10, 2020

Fact-checking Facebook post about Saudi terrorists and Saudis on 45th floor of Trump tower

A Facebook account that has more than 500,000 followers posted this claim, with a couple of grammatical errors, about Saudi Arabia and President Donald Trump:

"TWO UNDENIABLE FACTS

1. Saudi terrorists has killed more Americans on our soil than any other nation.

2. They rent the entire 45th floor of Trump Tower, And pay him in cash.

Those are facts."

The role of Saudi Arabian terrorists as part of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is fairly well known (and we’ll recap it below). But we were intrigued by the second part of the claim about the happenings on the 45th floor of Trump Tower. We found that part of the story misleading.

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

Saudis in 9/11 attacks

About 3,000 people died in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 — the largest number of deaths in the United States caused by violent extremism, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. 

The CIA identified 19 men as being the hijackers in the attacks and that the nationality of 15 of them was Saudi. (One was Egyptian, one Lebanese and two were from the United Arab Emirates.)

Saudis bought the 45th floor

In June 2001 (more than 15 years before he’d become president, and months before the 9/11 attacks), Trump sold — not rented — the entire 45th floor of Trump World Tower in New York City to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to multiple reports. The transaction earned Trump $4.5 million, according to the New York Daily News

So, that’s a cash payment — but not, as the post suggests, handing over actual currency every month. And certainly not in the present tense.

The apartments, located near the United Nations headquarters, were converted in 2008 into part of the Saudi Mission to the UN.

Our ruling

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the worst-ever on American soil, were Saudi. 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, not Saudi terrorists, bought the 45th floor of Trump World Tower, in 2001. The country is not paying rent currently.

This post contains an element of truth but distorts the facts. We rate it Mostly False.

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Tom Kertscher

Fact-checking Facebook post about Saudi terrorists and Saudis on 45th floor of Trump tower

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