Patrick Goldsmith, a friend of Brassner’s, told the New York Daily News that the president allegedly called the 67-year-old art dealer a “crazy Jew” shortly after Brassner began living at Trump Tower in 1996. (Goldsmith could not be immediately reached for comment.)
According to the Daily News interview with Goldsmith, 64, Trump allegedly made the remark to the building’s doorman after spotting Goldsmith, who passed Trump on his way into the building, looking at the future president’s hands.
Goldsmith claimed Trump wasn’t happy about the interaction, and after learning from the doorman that Goldsmith was going upstairs to visit Brassner, Trump allegedly remarked, “Oh, that crazy Jew?”
“Apparently he already had a go-round with him about something,” Goldsmith reportedly told the Daily News before claiming that the art dealer had been having some trouble with an overflowing sink in his apartment.
The New York Fire Department responded to the four-alarm blaze on Saturday evening, where Commissioner Daniel Nigro said an apartment on the 50th floor was “entirely on fire.”
According to Nigro’s tweets from the FDNY’s account, the apartment’s occupant was found in “critical condition.” The New York Police Department later confirmed that Brassner died.
Brassner had been trying to move out of his apartment at Trump Tower since Trump was elected president, but had not been able to sell the property, according to The New York Times.
Another one of Brassner’s friends, 67-year-old musician and music producer Stephen Dwire, told the newspaper that Brassner complained about living at Trump Tower, where security increased in the midst of Trump’s presidential campaign, and had trouble trying to sell his apartment.
“He said, ‘This is getting untenable,’ ” Dwire told the Times. “It was like living in an armed camp. But when people heard it was a Trump building, he couldn’t give it away.”
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Hours after the fire broke out, President Trump, who was in Washington D.C. at the time, praised both the firefighters and the construction of the 58-story skyscraper, but made no mention of Brassner.
“Fire at Trump Tower is out,” he wrote before Brassner died. “Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!”
Brassner’s apartment did not have sprinklers, which were not yet a legal requirement when his apartment was built in 1983, according to Times.
The newspaper also reported that although Trump didn’t mention Brassner in his tweet, the art dealer was mentioned in a statement from a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, which was obtained by the newspaper on Sunday.
“We send our prayers and deepest condolences to Mr. Brassner’s family and loved ones,” the spokeswoman said, according to the newspaper.