Donald Trump went to corrupt lengths in 1999 to keep fire sprinklers out of Trump Tower

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After a Trump Tower resident died in yesterday’s 50th floor fire, NYFD Commissioner Daniel Nigro made headlines when he brought up the fact that the building doesn’t have sprinklers on residential floors, seemingly implying that it was the cause for the resident’s death. This has led to a number of questions about why Trump Tower does haven’t sprinklers. Now we have our answer, and it’s every bit as disturbing as one might expect.

New York City enacted regulations in 1999 requiring all new (and newly renovated) skyscrapers to have fire sprinkler systems. However, a grandfather clause was instituted that allowed existing buildings to avoid having to be retrofitted for sprinklers. Trump Tower was built in the early eighties and never has faced major renovation, so its lack of sprinklers is technically legal. If you’re wondering how that grandfather clause came to be added to the 1999 regulations, it turns out it’s partially due to a real estate developer named Donald J. Trump.

According to a New York Post report from 1999, Donald Trump lobbied against the fire sprinkler legislation, and even went so far as to donate money to politicians in the hope of stopping it from passing. These kinds of targeted donations are, of course, a legal form of bribery. Months later, when the legislation passed but included a grandfather clause that allowed Trump Tower off the hook, Donald Trump then changed his tune and began speaking in favor of fire sprinklers, because he didn’t have to pay to have Trump Tower retrofitted.

So there you have it: a direct line from Donald Trump’s corrupt desperation two decades ago to keep fire sprinklers out of Trump Tower in order to save a buck, to yesterday’s death in the Trump Tower fire. As President of the United States, Trump is tasked with keeping Americans safe. He’s already demonstrated that he has no desire to keep the residents of his own property safe.

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