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Donald Trump makes surprise visit, donation to 9/11 memorial

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, waves as

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, waves as he walks with his wife Melania Trump, center, during his arrival at the National September 11 Memorial Museum on Saturday, April 9, 2016, in Manhattan. Credit: AP / Julio Cortez

While Republicans in Colorado were waiting to hear an in-person appeal from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Donald Trump visited New York City’s Sept. 11 memorial for the first time — a brief, quiet event Saturday that was opened, then closed, to reporters.

Some invited members of the media gathered at 10 a.m. outside Trump Tower, then huddled together in a van as a growing crowd waited for a glimpse of the Republican presidential front-runner.

At noon, Trump and his wife, Melania, emerged to shouts of “Yay, Donald!” They piled into an SUV, then headed toward the West Side Highway, zipping around traffic.

At 12:15, some New York-based journalists realized he was going to the memorial, which opened in 2011. When the motorcade arrived, Trump, his wife and a small entourage that included campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and social media manager Daniel Scavino, hustled inside under umbrellas.

The press, including several photographers and cameramen, was ordered by security to hold tight in a van. It was not the memorial’s policy to allow media inside, and so the media would not be let inside.

That left the semiofficial documentation of the event to Twitter users, who appeared universally surprised to see Trump inside.

Trump had not donated to the major charities and causes that helped first responders recover from damage incurred on Sept. 11, 2001, but he had referenced the attacks multiple times after Cruz accused him of embodying liberal, suspect “New York values.”

A museum official later confirmed that Trump made a $100,000 donation during his visit.

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