Trump argued that he was “clean as a whistle”—young enough that he hadn’t had time to get into any sort of trouble. He got the sped-up background check, and eventually got the casino license.
But Trump was not clean as a whistle. Beginning three years earlier, he’d hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. That story eventually came out in a federal investigation, which also concluded that in a construction industry saturated with mob influence, the Trump Plaza apartment building most likely benefited from connections to racketeering. Trump also failed to disclose that he was under investigation by a grand jury directed by the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, who wanted to learn how Trump obtained an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards on the West Side of Manhattan.
This is part of the Donald Trump story that few know. As Barrett wrote in his book, Trump didn’t just do business with mobbed-up concrete companies: he also probably met personally with Salerno at the townhouse of notorious New York fixer Roy Cohn, in a meeting recounted by a Cohn staffer who told Barrett she was present. This came at a time when other developers in New York were pleading with the FBI to free them of mob control of the concrete business.
After graduating in 1968 from the University of Pennsylvania, a rich young man from the outer boroughs of New York City sought his fortune on the island of Manhattan. Within a few years Donald J. Trump had made friends with the city’s most notorious fixer, lawyer Roy Cohn, who had become famous as lead counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy. Among other things Cohn was now a mob consigliere, with clients including “Fat Tony” Salerno, boss of the Genovese crime family, the most powerful Mafia group in New York, and Paul Castellano, head of what was said to be the second largest family, the Gambinos.
There’s the Cohn connection again, y’all. I wrote about it in April. Repeat after me: Oy, Such A Mentor. The gist of the article in a nutshell (if such a thing possible) is that the Insult Comedian bought overpriced mob concrete in exchange for labor peace. An additional oddity to this arrangement was that most skyscrapers in the 1980’s were made of steel and glass like the one in this 1987 Tull tune:
Think about it: Donald Trump has been asked his opinion on the Zoo Gorilla mishigas but NOT about his ties to the Gambino and Genovese families. What if his name was Don Donaldo and I called him Il Comico Insulto? The media would be all over his ass as pointed out in a brilliant piece by Steve Villano, a former aide to Cuomo the elder:
The torrent of thugs, terrible people, and mob-front businesses Trump and his father were involved with going back more than 45 years permeates every present-day action Donald Trump takes. If Mario Cuomo was in the same room with just one of the mobsters that Donald Trump did business with daily, his political career would have been finished. Instead, Trump shrugs it all off; an amoral actor playing among amoral peers.
Imagine, for a moment, if Cuomo — anytime between 1985-1991 — had gone to a private meeting in a posh New York townhouse with the boss of one of New York’s biggest crime families under investigation by the FBI, the way Wayne Barrett’s book recounts a meeting between Trump and Genovese Crime Boss “Fat Tony” Salerno, who controlled the cement industry in New York. Would the media be silent about such a meeting? Would Cuomo be given a free pass because he was just doing business with New Yorkers?
Stick a vowel at the end of Trump’s name, and see if his family’s decades-long “incestuous intertwining with organized crime,” as Barrett described the many Trump/Mafia marriages of convenience, would go unnoticed. Does any American who believes in the rule of law and justice really want someone so cozy with Mobsters to have power over the U.S. Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, the IRS, and every other federal law enforcement entity?
We’re back in familiar territory: IOKIYAR. The acronym may sound like a character in Game Of Thrones, not The Sopranos, but it’s the golden media oldie: IT’S OK IF YOU’RE A REPUBLICAN. It’s an anti-MSM sing along of sorts. Perhaps if Trump calls a reporter a sleaze often enough they’ll ask him about Big Paul. Fat Tony, and all the made men Don Donaldo and his father Don Fredo knew over the years. I know he’ll lie about but he’ll be the first Oval One wannabe to be asked about his mob ties. He likes making history, after all. Ironically, the Republican nominee in 1944 and 1948, Tom Dewey, put Lucky Luciano in the slammer when he was a prosecutor. The Genovese family was originally called the Luciano family until Charlie Lucky ran out of luck. Ironies abound.
I’m not quite sure what it will take for the MSM to break down and ask Don Donaldo, Il Comico Insulto about his mob ties or even his relationship with the odious Roy Cohn. I guess they need to make him an offer he can’t refuse.