Trump Called Tower Fire Victim 'Crazy Jew,' Todd Brassner Friend Claims: Report

Before becoming president, Donald Trump reportedly called Todd Brassner, who died in a fire at Trump Tower on Saturday, a "crazy Jew."

Trump is alleged to have made the remark in 1996, not long after Brassner began residing at an apartment in the Fifth Avenue skyscraper. Brassner's friend Patrick Goldsmith recounted that Trump was exiting the building and appeared angry that Goldsmith looked at his small hands, prompting him to ask the doorman who he was. When the doorman said Goldsmith was visiting Brassner, Trump said, "Oh, that crazy Jew?" Goldsmith told the New York Daily News on Sunday.

Related: New Ivanka Trump Store Opens at Trump Tower After Nordstrom Rejection

Upon hearing about the remark, Brassner joked, "I'm a Hebrew, I'm not a Jew," Goldsmith said.

"Apparently he already had a go-round with him about something," Goldsmith added.

Brassner, 67, an art dealer and collector, had reportedly been trying to sell his 50th-floor apartment since 2015, when he filed for bankruptcy, but was not able to find a buyer for the property valued at $2.5 million.

Trump on Saturday tweeted a thank you to firefighters who extinguished the blaze—which did not have a determined cause as of Monday morning—but did not acknowledge Brassner.

Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2018

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah slammed the Daily News' report, which ran on its cover Monday.

"Basing a front-page story maligning the President solely on a decades-old unverified claim by a critic of the President—whose own family members are Jewish—is absurd," Shah told the newspaper.

Trump's apparently uttered his "crazy Jew" comment about a dozen years before his eldest daughter Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism prior to marrying Jared Kushner, who is Jewish.

The president in December recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and his administration plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May to fall in line with the 70th anniversary of Israel's independence.