Donald Trump is “a small man" for accepting $150,000 from a federal fund for small businesses hurt by the Sept. 11 attacks and should return the money or donate it to charity, a New York Democratic congressman said.
"In grabbing that money with both fists, you took it out of the pockets of small business owners in New York who were truly hurting," Rep. Jerrold Nadler wrote in an open letter to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Nadler referenced reports earlier this year that the real estate billionaire accepted the money from the World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant program.
The lawmaker's letter, posted on his campaign website and dated Thursday, represented the latest Democratic attempt to focus attention on Trump's wealth. They've also repeatedly demanded that he release his income tax returns, which he has declined to do until IRS audits are finished.
Spokespeople for Trump's campaign did not immediately return emailed requests for a response.
According to Nadler's letter, Trump received the money from the grant program for one of his companies, 40 Wall Street LLC, which owns a Manhattan skyscraper.
Citing previous reports, Nadler said that Trump company had $26.8 million in annual revenue. The federal definition of small businesses is those that have earned less than $6 million, Nadler said.
"Whatever the size of your business, we need no further proof that you are a small man," Nadler wrote.
Nadler said that Trump told an interviewer that none of his properties was damaged in the attacks on New York.
"Your exploitation of our bravest and most generous citizens shows us all we need to know about what lies within your heart," wrote Nadler.
Nadler’s district includes the site where the World Trade Center towers stood before they were toppled in the attacks.
Alan Fram, Associated Press