Part of Donald Trump’s sales pitch to the American people has been that he knows how to make deals. He does. And some of his very best deals have been made with the Mafia. At POLITICO, David Cay Johnson has an extensive piece on Donald Trump’s equally extensive history of parlaying his contacts within the mob into business deals. The overview:
While no one claims Trump was a “made man” it is really clear that from his earliest days in the business that Donald Trump cultivated relationships with known mobsters. These relationships were not incidental or accidental. He sought them out. He used mob influence to allow him to hire illegal immigrants to work on union construction sites. He used mob contacts to gain ownership of key pieces of property. He knowingly paid kickbacks to mob figures to facilitate construction on some of his projects. He provided jobs and financial assistance to mob figures and their associates.
If you want to claim that he had to do that to do business in New York, fine. Make the claim. But it just isn’t true. Guys like Trump are the ones who kept the mob in business even as legitimate businessmen were being victimized for standing up to provide evidence in court. As Trump acquired prominence he could have used his star power to stomp out mob influence in the real estate development sector. He didn’t because he had the close relationship with the mob that he needed to ensure that his projects were completed without a hitch while his competitors did not have that advantage.
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