I receive this question almost more than any other: Why don't you support Donald Trump? I've met the man, his camp asked me to introduce him at CPAC in 2015, he was perfectly amiable. He's been on my radio and TV programs more than any other primary candidate. I just can't get on board with his lack of consistency or his policies. So, to answer the question: A bulleted list of items that helped shape my opinion on the Republican primary candidate. All information is public domain as reported in the press, easily found everywhere online. You're certainly welcome to your own opinion, but this is what contributed to mine. As I give courtesy to diverse opinion on the topic, so do I expect it in return.
--> Trump says he will "hire the best minds" as president but according to the news items below, apparently did not vet his own business partners.
Though he touts his outstanding memory, when Donald Trump was asked under oath about his dealings with a twice-convicted Russian émigré who served prison time and had documented mafia connections, the real estate mogul was at a loss.
Even though the man, Felix Sater, had played a role in a number of high-profile Trump-branded projects across the country.
... Donald Trump has also been seeking to minimize his past business ties with Sater, the Russian émigré who appeared in photos with Trump, and carried a Trump Organization business card with the title “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump.”
After Sater's criminal history and past ties to organized crime came to light in 2007, Trump distanced himself from Sater.
Less than three years later, however, Trump tapped Sater for a business development role that came with the title of senior adviser to Donald Trump. Sater received Trump Organization business cards and was given an office within the Trump Organization's headquarters, on the same floor as Trump's own.
**Interestingly, Sater has a connection to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Lynch aided Sater:
Lynch’s office appeared to have let self-professed criminals walk free in exchange for their cooperation, watched impassively as they committed further crimes, and intentionally kept the victims of those crimes in the dark — denying them their legal right to seek restitution.
In 2013, former federal judge Paul Cassell testified before the House Judiciary Committee, and encouraged them to look at how Lynch’s office had handled a stock fraud case. That case involved Felix Sater, a convicted fraudster with ties to the mafia. Utah senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Lynch to respond to Cassell’s testimony. He also asked whether Lynch had complied with federal laws that ensure restitution is provided to crime victims.
More on Trump's deals from Wayne Barrett:
One associate who was an "unindicted co-conspirator" in a massive 2000 stock swindle—and escaped prison only by helping to convict 19 others, including six members of New York crime families
• Two associates who served prison time on cocaine charges
• Another partner prosecuted for trafficking underage girls after a dramatic helicopter raid on a yacht off the Turkish coast
• A pending lawsuit against Trump Soho that alleges daughter Ivanka, among others, made fraudulent misrepresentations
Barrett's experience with writing about Trump?
"While I was reporting that book in 1990, I was muscled out of Trump Castle and handcuffed overnight to a wall at the Atlantic City jail. I haven’t done much reporting about him since the book, but when his numbers shot to the top in recent presidential polls, I took another look and asked his office for an interview. His response was a letter threatening a libel suit. Trump did sue Tim O’Brien, who was a research assistant on my Trump book, when Tim wrote a sequel in 2005. Now the national editor of the Huffington Post, O’Brien finally prevailed after years of litigation. I obtained—and not from O’Brien—a copy of the two-day deposition Trump gave in that lawsuit. The December 2007 transcript is a road map of the dark paths Trump’s business career has taken in recent years."
Trump Soho, Trump Fort Lauderdale, Trump Las Olas, summary: Trump’s business partner on these projects is Bayrock Group, which is headquartered in Trump Tower. The partnership dates back to 2005. Felix Sater, whose father is a reputed Russian mob boss, is a top Bayrock executive. As the Daily Beast reported, in 2000 Felix was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a massive stock swindle “which resulted in19 guilty pleas and the conviction of six mobsters – including the nephew of Carmine “the Snake” Persico and the brother-in-law of Sammy “the Bull” Gravano.” The founding chairman of Bayrock is Tevfik Arif, who has reputed Russian organized crime ties. In 2010 he was charged in Turkey for smuggling underage girls into the country for prostitution. Another principal in the deal is Russian émigré Tamir Sapir, who also lives in Trump Tower. Sapir’s executive vice president and top aide, Fred Contini, pled guilty in 2004 to “participating in a racketeering conspiracy with the Gambino crime family for 13 years.”
As for the charges against Arif:
At an April hearing, a judge dismissed the charges against Arif, though four lesser-known businessmen directly implicated in bringing the girls aboard were convicted. A final report on the reasons for the dismissal has yet to be issued, though the fact that the women refused to testify, denied they were prostitutes, and immediately left Turkey did weaken the prosecution.
The Trump family has also gone into business with two convicted cocaine traffickers, one in Turkey and another in Philadelphia. Engin Yesil, whose development company was said to “ own the Turkey rights” for a $500 million project called Trump Towers Istanbul, was sentenced to a six-year prison term on cocaine charges in the U.S. 20 years ago. He says now that he “delegated” his Trump “royalties” to Dogan Holdings, a giant Turkish developer and media company that was just fined an extraordinary $2.5 billion for dodging corporate taxes in Turkey for years. When asked in the O’Brien deposition about the Istanbul project, Donald deferred to his son, who he said was handling the deal. In 2009, Ivanka did a huge press event in Istanbul, announcing that 45 percent of the units were already committed.
Trump Tower Philadelphia also involves a former cocaine dealer, Raoul Goldberg, aka Goldberger. Sentenced to 46 months in prison in 2000 on the coke conviction, he was technically on probation when he brought the site for the 45-story tower to Trump in 2005. And even though it’s only a license and management deal for Trump, Ivanka and Donald Jr. were so involved that they worked on spa and restaurant deals for the complex. Goldberg, who has suddenly “disappeared” from the project just as Felix Sater did, told Philadelphia Magazine in 2006 that he talked to Ivanka or Donald Jr. “every day.”
Info on Goldberg here (bold my emphasis):
What he would not say was how he knows Donald Trump, who his investors are, or who his family—whom he credits for getting him into the real estate business—is. This is probably because his family was named “Goldberger,” not Goldberg. Until 2003, when he still went by the name Raoul Goldberger, he was primarily known as an up-and-coming drug trafficker who had been busted after a yearlong federal investigation for attempting to ship tens of thousands of ecstasy pills from Belgium.
Trump Tower Toronto, summary: Trump partner is Alex Shnaider, who heads up the Midland Group. Shnaider, a well-connected Russian with deep ties in Ukraine, is the son-in-law of Boris Birshtein, a business partner with Sergei Mikhailov, reputed leader of the notorious Solnsteva gang, a Russia-based crime syndicate.
Sergei Mikhailov, widely believed to be a leader of the powerful Solntsevo organized crime group, boasts on his website that Putin awarded him the prestigious timepiece on May 14.
As evidence of the accolade, Mikhailov has posted photographs of the watch, which is embossed with Russia's double-headed eagle and Putin's signature, with an accompanying certificate purportedly signed by the Russian president.
Trump’s association and business dealings with known mafia figures was not limited to his Atlantic City projects. In New York City, several of his buildings were built by S&A Concrete Co., a concern partly owned by Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, the boss of the Genovese crime family. In addition to this business relationship, Trump and Salerno were both represented by high-power attorney Roy Cohn. In his book, Barrett cites an anonymous source who confirms that on at least one occasion Trump and Salerno had a sit-down in Cohn’s apartment. Trump has denied this claim in the past.
Is it reasonable to assume that Trump had no idea that S&A was run by Salerno’s Genovese borgata when Trump’s own attorney was so closely linked to that organization? After all, if Trump (who likes to point out that he has “one of the highest IQs”) is as smart as he would have everyone believe, how could he have been so naive?
Another issue that needs to be addressed in Trump’s New York operations is the use of undocumented Polish workers to demolish the Bonwit Teller building, which made way for the Trump Tower. Only a handful of union workers from Housewreckers Local 95 were employed on the site, the vast majority were illegal Polish alien workers, toiling under inhumane conditions, and wildly underpaid. Trump and his associates were found guilty in 1991 of conspiring to avoid paying pension and welfare fund contributions.
--> While the tea party fought McConnell in Kentucky and tried to rally for Matt Bevin, Trump backed McConnell and every establishment GOP organization that sought to stamp out the conservative movement.
--> Trump donated more to Democrats than Republicans in the 2006 election cycle. More:
Overall in the 2006 election cycle, Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., donated $77,200 to Democrats versus only $24,250 on Republicans. Looking back to the 2004 cycle, the pair donated $40,500 to Democrats and only $17,250 to the GOP.
A large share of Trump’s donations to Democrats were given to congressional committees dedicated specifically to gaining majority control of Congress. And that they did. Democrats took control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1994 by gaining 31 seats in the House and increasing the Democratic caucus in the Senate by six.
Records show that in June 2006, Trump donated $20,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. That was in addition to the $5,000 he sent in April 2005 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. At the same time, Trump Jr. gave the two Democratic committees a total of $22,500.
While the Trumps spent nearly $50,000 to elect congressional Democrats, they donated only $1,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRSC).
But perhaps the worst outcome that election for Republicans was that Pelosi and Reid became Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader, respectively. The pair made a formidable team and did heavy lifting to ensure that Obama was elected in 2008 and that much of his agenda — including Obamacare — was put in place.
--> Trump donated heavily to the DCCC, DSCC, and Democrat heavyweights who brought us open borders, Obamacare, and tried to erode 2A rights. The DCCC is known for running Democrats in Republican primaries. Trump donated heavily to Chuck Schumer, Rahm Emanuel, Terry MacAuliffe, Dick Durbin, and Harry Reid
--> Trump advocated for amnesty during Gang of Eight while conservatives fought against it.
“You know, the truth is I have a lot of illegals working for me in Miami,” he told them, using the term for undocumented immigrants those in the meeting found offensive. “You know in Miami, my golf course is tended by all these Hispanics — if it wasn’t for them my lawn wouldn’t be the lawn it is; it’s the best lawn,” Pacheco recalled Trump saying."
--> Trump is accused of financially threatening a woman during a secret deposition over his controversial and legally-mired Trump University, which has been called a "worthless scam."
Trump University collapsed in a blizzard of lawsuits in 2010, and in 2013 the New York attorney general sued Trump University for $40 million for allegedly defrauding students.
--> Trump said he doesn't agree with NRA on everything during an interview with Larry King:
KING: You agree with the NRA?
TRUMP: I don't agree entirely, but I do agree that you should have the power to have a weapon, because other people do and other people are not necessarily...
--> Trump came out weak this week on privacy rights. Many have said that the FBI's request would render everyone's iPhones vulnerable.
As for Goldman Sachs, Trump is himself a shareholder in Goldman Sachs, which means he has a direct financial interest in its success. One would think that would make Trump even less enthusiastic about protecting me from Goldman Sachs (whatever that means) than Cruz would.
--> Trump is accused of "draft dodging." "Questions linger," says The Washington Post, about his deferments reportedly due to bone spurs in his heel, which, says NY Daily News, could have been treated.
--> Circulated fake Coburn quote; camp continued even after Coburn condemned.
--> Tried to float conspiracy theory about a Saudi Prince and Fox; said Prince reminded Trump how he bailed him out.
--> Trump threatens frivilous, progressive lawfare over videos featuring his past remarks.
--> Trump expressed support for the health care mandate: "I like the mandate" at the CNN South Carolina candidate townhall. Trump's own health care proposal, says Washington Examiner, requires more government than Obamacare requires.
I just don't believe that the guy is a consistent conservative. And it's OK for me to believe that.
Now can we get back to fighting the left?