Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Amy Goodman — Donald Trump Set to Be GOP Nominee Despite Links to Organized Crime

Investigative journalist Tom Robbins discusses Trump’s history of close relationships with organized crime figures in the United States.
As Donald Trump virtually clinches the Republican presidential nomination after Senator Ted Cruz suspends his campaign following a devastating defeat in the Indiana primary, we are joined by Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, who has reported on Trump’s history of close relationships with organized crime figures in the United States. We examine some of the characters and connections Robbins helped expose as a reporter who covered politics, labor and organized crime for the Daily News and The Village Voice from 1985 to 2011. His recent article for The Marshall Project is "Trump and the Mob." Robbins also critiques the media’s coverage of Trump on the campaign trail.…
TOM ROBBINS: All right. Good morning. Who would have thunk it? Right? I mean, you have the slickest con man out of New York City, and has just been basically made the Republican nominee by the Hoosiers of Middle America. It’s an astonishing thing. And I guess it goes to show that the Republicans have just as little idea as to who their base is as the Democrats.…
TOM ROBBINS: Well, you know, it’s interesting to hear Republicans talk about how scared they are of Trump being the candidate. I find that much more telling than when Democrats talk about, oh, he’s unpopular among women, he’s unpopular among minorities. You know, there’s a certain extent, I feel, the Democrats are whistling past the graveyard, that they don’t recognize the fact that American voters are scared, they’re anxious, they’re worried. They’ve been fed pablum and bromides about jobs that disappeared. Here’s a fellow who is telling them, "I can fix that. And it was wrong, and it shouldn’t have happened to you." And he comes across as a strongman. And there is a section of the electorate that responds to that….
TOM ROBBINS: You know, Hillary Clinton, at her best, is a tremendous candidate. When Hillary Clinton lets her guard down and she speaks out, I think she resonates with people. And people feel a pride of the fact that, you know, it looks like there could for the first time be a woman who would be the candidate of a major party. And I think that that’s something that has the potential to really rally enormous numbers of voters. Hillary Clinton, at her worst, which is something unfortunately we see a lot of, is someone who is paranoid and who is fearful and who is distrustful. And as a result, voters see her that way. And I think she has the capability of being at her best. But she’s a flawed candidate. She carries a lot of baggage. And I think that Donald Trump is somebody who is incredibly good at skewing his rivals and finding the soft spot. And she’s got a lot of soft spots.  
Donald Trump Set to Be GOP Nominee Despite Links to Organized Crime
Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!

In early March, Politico Magazine convened these five Trumpologists: Barrett, a longtime Village Voice reporter; Blair, a bestselling author; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist D’Antonio; Hurt, an author and videographer; and O’Brien, a writer and editor at Bloomberg. They gathered, together for the first time, for a discussion at Trump Grill, a restaurant in the atrium of Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan—where Trump lives and his company is based. Moderated by Politico Editor Susan Glasser and senior writer Michael Kruse and presented in edited form below, the conversation ranged from the emotional wounds that drive Trump to the roots of his demagoguery to his alleged ties to the mob. The rest of the media might still be struggling to explain Trump’s political rise, but these five writers saw his ambition—and ego—from the very early days. Here’s how Trump the candidate came to be.
Trumpology: A Master Class
Susan B. Glasser and Michael Kruse


Malmo's Ghost said...


Even I have links to organized crime. I was union steward in the early 80's for Local 1 Laborers.

Most Chicago union jobs had mob ties. Could not be avoided.

I went to DePaul basketball games with known union mobster business agent.

I was best friends in high school with Elmwood Park basketball buddy whose dad was possibly associated with mob.

I got into Bulls games on court for free.

Yawn. Snore.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Construction and rubbing elbows with the mafia is not big news unless you live in a cave.

Tom Hickey said...

That's known to people who live or have lived in cities like New York or Chicago, but most of the country doesn't know about it. Many people in the Midwest would be surprised, for example.

Anyway, it's probably not a big deal, but it can be used to blunt attacks on the Clinton's for similar reasons. I don't see the Clinton people (machine) exploiting it but they will respond if attacked. "Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house."

Malmo's Ghost said...

Good point, Tom. I'm desensitized to this more than most. But I can assure you that other than innocuous dealings with these cretins that's as far as it went.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Unless Trump is a made man or low level mobster himself this has no legs whatsoever.

Roger Erickson said...

How could one have organized crime ties more direct than belonging to either of the two, big political parties?

Mafia & Cosa Nostra got nothing on DNP & GOP.

Seve141 said...

I would be surprised if Mr. Trump has anything to be seriously worried about as Tom noted.

If HRC did push this theme, (which I doubt she would - the living in a glass house thing), Trump could simply direct the electorate to these two video files.

Digging deep into Hillary's connections to Wall Street, Abby Martin reveals how the Clinton's multi-million-dollar political machine operates.

and, or

Anonymous - Hillary Clinton: A Career Criminal

Frankly, HRC makes wiseguys look like choir boys.

Dan Lynch said...

Let's see, Bill Clinton grew up in Hot Springs which was at the time controlled by mobster Owney Madden. Clinton's Uncle Raymond was a minor figure in the Hot Springs mob, and Bill's mother the nurse counted Maxine's whorehouse as one of her first and best customers (Maxine paid cash). As governor Clinton was rumored to look the other way at drug running and money laundering in his state. The Bush family's involvement in various crimes goes way back.

But we're supposed to be appalled that a New York City / New Jersey businessman may have had dealings with the mob?

I'm not rooting for Trump, just saying that he does not strike me as any worse than some previous American presidents.

Tom Hickey said...

The difference between the mob and the elite is that the well-connected are in a position to make what they do legal.

Random said...

This is hilarious watching these arseholes Tom -

"Anti Brexit economists' letter has 32 names so far. If you aren't already on it, get in touch and get the text, and sign it."
"We should aim for 100 at least."
"i'm prepared to sign more than once if this is necessary."

"Brexit letter ready. If you're an economist, anti, get in touch, and I'll send you the text. Co-launched with Paul Levine and @sjwrenlewis"

Footsoldier said...

Setting the scene for a lone gunman.