The daughter of a reputed New Jersey mob figure says her late father had a longtime relationship with Donald Trump that included gambling millions of dollars at one of his casinos, flying on his helicopter and partying aboard his private yacht.Remember know how unpopular John F. Kennedy and Frank Sinatra became once everyone knew they had mob connections? No? You never noticed a decline in their popularity because of that? Especially among white men? In fact, you think JFK and the Chairman of the Board actually became more popular because of that aura of danger?
In 1991, Trump first faced questions about his dealings with Robert LiButti, a plump, balding and nationally famous horse breeder with an explosive temper who would later be banned from New Jersey casinos for his ties to Mafia boss John Gotti....
When asked about LiButti by a reporter, the casino mogul suggested he barely knew the foul-mouthed gambler. “I have heard he is a high roller, but if he was standing here in front of me, I wouldn’t know what he looked like,” Trump told the Philadelphia Inquirer in February 1991.
But Edith Creamer, LiButti’s daughter, told Yahoo News in two recent telephone interviews that Trump’s account was false and that Trump and her father knew each other quite well. “He’s a liar,” said Creamer. “Of course he knew him. I flew in the [Trump] helicopter with [Trump’s then wife] Ivana and the kids. My dad flew it up and down [to Atlantic City]. My 35th birthday party was at the Plaza and Donald was there. After the party, we went on his boat, his big yacht. I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me.”
Well, exactly. Trump hangs with mobsters? And doesn't wind up either in prison or at the bottom of a river in cement overshoes? That's cool. His voters are going to think: If he can deal with guys like that, you bet he can take on ISIS.
And LiButti looked up to Trump, according to a transcript Isikoff obtained of a conversation he had with a Trump executive, Edward Tracy -- although LiButti did think Trump seemed a bit, um, whipped by his then-current romantic partner:
In the conversation, LiButti also offered personal advice, telling Tracy that Trump needed to “get rid of the broad” -- a reference to his then publicized affair with Marla Maples. And he lamented the toll that both the business and personal issues were taking on Trump at the time.(But Trump did break up with Maples. So if you're a male admirer and just thinking about Trump feels to you like mainlining testosterone, this anecdote is a net plus, even with the "banana" quote.)
“He’s lost that aggressiveness. … Walks around like a f***ing banana. I can’t believe it’s Donald Trump. I don’t understand it,” LiButti says.
“Yeah, I know you were shocked when you saw him,” Tracy replies.
“Yeah,” says LiButti. “I can’t believe it. My hero. Broke my f***ing heart. My f***ing idol. I wanted to grow up like him.”
Trump Plaza had to pay six-figure fines for certain accommodations it made on LiButti's behalf -- but I don't see why this, in particular, would upset Trump's fan base:
The probe resulted in a $200,000 fine against the Trump Plaza by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission for violating state anti-discrimination laws. Investigators found that LiButti had, on multiple occasions, berated blacks and women using what one state official described as the “vilest” language — including racist slurs and references to women in obscene terms — and that the Trump Plaza, in order not to lose his substantial business, sought to accommodate him by keeping the employees away from his betting tables, according to commission documents recently obtained by Yahoo News under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act....If you're a Trump fan, hey, those are perfectly reasonable reactions! The Casino Control Commission was just being ... come on folks, say it with me ... politically correct.
[LiButti] made it clear that “he did not want women, blacks or other minorities dealing or supervising his games,” according to one filing by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. He referred to one Trump Plaza floor person as a “dumb c***” and “dumb bitch,” another as a “Jew broad” and an African-American dealer as a “black bastard.” Finding himself playing with an African-American at his craps table, LiButti shouted, “Shoot the f***ing dice. Shoot the f***ing dice like you’re f***ing some n*****,” according to testimony in the case.
Trump Plaza got fined. LiButti, however, went to prison for tax fraud and died in 2014. Trump's still standing. Trump wins.
Oh, and LiButti's daughter, who says Trump is "a liar" because he denies having known LiButti? She's going to vote for him anyway:
And while keenly disappointed that Trump denied knowing her father, Creamer said she is still backing him for president. “I’m voting for Trump,” she said. “He’ll change the world -- I think we need that.” In fact, Creamer added, before her father died -- and Trump was talking about running for president in 2011 -- he expressed similar sentiments. “I’m going to vote for the SOB,” she recalled him saying.All this might seem appalling to general election voters. But it won't upset Trump's base at all.