NEW YORK – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has paid his first visit to the September 11 Memorial Museum, using the opportunity to roundly criticise rival conservative Ted Cruz just days before a key New York primary election.
Trump and his wife Melania toured the museum on Saturday with president and CEO Joe Daniels, as well as New York Police Department and Port Authority police officials, according to his campaign.
The couple "were incredibly impressed with the museum, a monument representative of all of the wonderful people who tragically lost their lives and the families who have suffered so greatly", a campaign statement read.
Asked why he made a reported $100,000 (R1,5-million) donation to the museum, Trump later said "I just felt like doing it", adding he was also motivated by Cruz's dismissive talk of "New York values".
Texas Senator Cruz has used the term to suggest the billionaire New York real estate magnate was a liberal.
Trump told the Fox News show Justice with Judge Jeanine he was driven to make the large donation "because I heard him disparaging New York. And I just thought it would be the thing to do".
Cruz, who is trailing Trump in polls for the New York primary, "has hatred for New York", Trump said.
"And you could see it the way he expressed, and it was not the fact that he talked about New York values, it was the way he said it. The tone and the expression. And I just don't think that New Yorkers are going to fall for it."