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Posts Make Unsupported Claim About Trump Donation for Slain Officer

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Quick Take

Former President Donald Trump attended the wake for slain New York City Police Officer Jonathan Diller and met with his family. But social media posts make the unsupported claim that Trump paid off the family’s mortgage. A nonprofit announced it would pay the mortgage and told a news outlet it had no contact with Trump about the Diller mortgage.

Full Story

Former President Donald Trump attended the March 28 wake for New York City Police Officer Jonathan Diller, who was shot to death while approaching an illegally parked car in Queens. One of the men in the car, Guy Rivera, of Queens, has been charged with first-degree murder of a police officer, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Trump also met with Diller’s widow and 1-year-old son at the wake, the New York Times reported.

According to NBC News, after the wake on Long Island, Trump talked to reporters about violent crime and said, “We have to get back to law and order. We have to do a lot of things differently because this is not working. This is happening too often.”

(Trump’s comments about violent crime don’t reflect recent murder statistics in New York City. The number of murders citywide dropped 10.7% from 2022 to 2023. The number of murders in 2023 was also down 16.4% compared with 2020, the last year Trump was in office. This year, murders are down 17.2%, as of March 31, compared with the same time period last year.)

Police officers attend the wake for New York City Police Officer Jonathan Diller on March 28 in Massapequa, New York. Photo by Spencer Platt via Getty Images.

While Trump did honor Diller and his family by attending the wake, social media posts are making an unfounded claim that Trump provided financial support for the officer’s family.

“President Trump quietly paid off slain NYPD officer’s mortgage all while Democratic Presidents were attending a woke fundraiser,” reads the text on a March 31 Instagram post. (President Joe Biden attended an event in New York City on March 28 with former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton that raised $26 million for Biden’s reelection campaign.)

In a video on the Instagram post, David Zere, a host on Real America’s Voice, is seen reporting from outside the Long Island funeral home. Zere says, Trump’s inside the funeral home right now. … But the story here is that, you know, Trump gave a donation to Tunnel to Towers. [I] believe he paid off the mortgage for this family through Tunnels to Towers and had a phone call with the family.”

A March 27 Facebook post, from a person who frequently publishes posts critical of Biden, expounds on Trump’s purported gift to the Diller family. Citing information received from “NCPD Robbery Squad guys,” the post says, “My neighbor is a funeral director and is doing the wake for the NYPD cop who was killed yesterday. He met with the widow and the Department this morning. While she was in his office, Pat Hendry the PBA president says excuse me, she has to take this call. It was Donald Trump. A few minutes after that she got a call from the head of Tunnel to Towers, they are paying her mortgage off.” The post continues, “Donnie T donated all the $ to cover the entire mortgage.”

But we could find no media reports or evidence that Trump paid for the Dillers’ mortgage, and Trump has not said he made such a donation.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation — an organization that “pays off the mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty, pass away from 9/11-related illnesses, and leave behind young children” — issued a press release on March 28 saying that the foundation was covering the mortgage for the Diller home. The press release makes no mention of Trump.

“The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has made a promise to pay off the mortgage on the Massapequa Park, Long Island home of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller,” the release said. 

Foundation chairman Frank Siller said in the release, “Every day Officer Diller donned his uniform, there was a risk he may not come home. We will honor Officer Diller not only for his sacrifice but for his unwavering resolve to protect the people of New York City by ensuring his family can stay in their home, forever.”

In response to the social media claims that Trump paid for the Dillers’ mortgage, the news website Greater Long Island reported a Tunnel to Towers spokesperson “said the foundation has not been in touch with President Trump or his team on this matter.”

Also, Zere, of Real America’s Voice, posted on X on March 28, “I may have been mistaken about Trump donating the money to Tunnel and Towers for the Diller family. I had several people approach me this was the case. I apologize if I reported misinformation.” On a March 30 post on X, Zere said, “I retracted the story a few hours later….I did not originate this…i reached out to Tunnels to Towers and apologized.”

CBS News reported that the Promise of Hope Foundation paid for Diller’s funeral costs, and the tip line COP-SHOT donated $10,000 for education expenses for his son.

This year, 10 police officers, including Diller, have been killed by gunfire in the U.S., according to the nonprofit Officer Down Memorial Page.

We reached out to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and to the Trump campaign for comment on the claim made in the social media posts, but we didn’t receive a response from either.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.


CBS News. “Tunnel to Towers will pay off NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller’s mortgage on Long Island home.” 28 Mar 2024.

Esposito, Nick. “Tunnel to Towers to pay off mortgage of slain NYPD officer Jonathan Diller.” Greater Long Island. 28 Mar 2024.

Gold, Michael. “Trump, Attending Wake of N.Y.P.D. Officer, Pushes Campaign Message on Crime.” New York Times. 28 Mar 2024.

Gusoff, Carolyn and Ali Bauman. “NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller’s alleged killer charged with first-degree murder of police officer.” CBS News. 29 Mar 2024.

Hauari, Gabe. “Man in custody after fatal shooting of NYPD officer during traffic stop: Reports.” USA Today. 27 Mar 2024.

Lebowitz, Megan and Rebecca Shabad. “Trump attends wake for fallen NYPD officer as he ramps up rhetoric on crime.” NBC News. 28 Mar 2024.

Megerian, Chris and Colleen Long. “Obama, Clinton and big-name entertainers help Biden raise a record $26 million for his reelection.” Associated Press. 29 Mar 2024.

Nyc.gov. Seven Major Felony Offenses. 15 Jan 2024.

New York City Police Department. Citywide Crime Statistics. Accessed 2 Apr 2024.

Officer Down Memorial Page. “Honoring Officers Killed in 2024.” Accessed 2 Apr 2024.

Police Department, City of New York. CompStat Report Covering the Week 3/25/2024 Through 3/31/2024.

Tunnels to Towers Foundation. Mortgage Payoff. t2t.org. Accessed 2 Apr 2024.

Tunnels to Towers Foundation. Press release. “Tunnel to Towers Foundation Stands With Slain NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller’s Family.” 28 Mar 2024.