Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Donald Trump' is associated with 28 posts.

Don’t Think Twice, It’s “Alt-right”: Nazi Fellow Traveler Chuck Johnson Helping Trump Transition Team

Notorious troll, blogger and Nazi/white-supremacist fellow traveler Charles “Chuck” Johnson has substantive input in Trump’s cabinet selections–“Chuck” may be operating in tandem with Peter Thiel, whose database named the “Plum List” bears a striking similarity to a website “ThePlumlist.com,” apparently being used by Johnson to help staff Trump’s administration.


FTR #942 Who Is Tulsi Gabbard? (Part 2)

Continuing our analysis of Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, we begin with a lengthy exploration of the racist, fascist, quasi-Hitlerian views of Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna cult and someone who has received the unqualified adulation of Gabbard.

We explore Gabbard in the context of her high-profile role as a supporter of Bernie Sanders and the incoherent nature of her stance on Muslims.

In a nutshell, Gabbard’s idol Prabhupada believed that: “ . . . . rape victims asked for it, Blacks are inferior and should be enslaved, Aryans are the supreme race, Hitler was right when attacking the Jews, and the ‘non-Aryan’ majority of the human race are useless eaters no better than dogs. The preferred form of government is an absolutist monarchy. Racism is apparently an integral part of the ideal Vedic society, since ‘shudra’ (the designation of the worker-caste) means ‘black,’ which in turn literally refers to blacks, a category which also includes Dravidians from southern India. . . .”
Prabhupada, not surprisingly, was a believer in eugenics.

Prabhupada also felt that Native Americans exemplified the inferiority of the non-white peoples of the world and their subjugation by white Europeans was proof of their inferiority. This is interesting because Gabbard garnered much publicity with her decampment to Standing Rock in support of the natives of the region. We wonder what the Standing Rock Sioux would feel about Gabbard’s unqualified admiration of Prabhupada?

The program recaps a five minute adulatory address by Gabbard on the subject of Prabhupada, in which she states in so many words that Chris Butler, aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa is her personal guru.
The broadcast details the dominant role of the Hare Krishna sect headed by Butler in Gabbard’s parents, husband, in-laws and political milieu.

The broadcast concludes with rumination about the possible role of Gabbard in the high-profile hacks of the DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. Former British diplomat Craig Murray alleges that he got the information posted by WikiLeaks on a thumb drive given to him by a DNC insider “disgusted” by Clinton.

Gabbard was the former deputy chairperson of the DNC. Was she the “insider” Murray is referring to? If not, might she have provided information facilitating the hacks mistakenly being attributed to Russia/Putin?

Program Highlights Include: Review of Gabbard’s networking with Narendra Modi, his BJP party and the RSS, for which the BJP is a cat’s paw; review of Gabbard’s criticism of Barak Obama for not being sufficiently anti-Muslim; review of Gabbard’s resonance with the anti-Muslim views of Modi, his BJP and the RSS; review of the fascist RSS’s heritage, including its fundamental role in the assassination of Gandhi; review of Trump’s “Alt-right” advisor and former campaign manager Steve Bannon’s positive views of Modi and Tulsi Gabbard; review of Trump’s interview of Gabbard for a possible cabinet position; discussion of the segmenting of the Hare Krishna cult under the supervision of eleven different gurus; the former chief of publicity for the group’s assertion that the organization has a secret agenda and rules its subjects with an iron fist; elements of the Hare Krishna sect’s involvement in gun-running; racketeering and murder.


FTR #941 Who Is Tulsi Gabbard? (Part 1)

The first of two programs highlighting Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic congressional representative from Hawaii, this broadcast notes her high-profile role in promoting Bernie Sanders for President, her incoherent stance on Muslims/Islam, her networking with the Hindu nationalist/fascist government of Narendra Modi, the favorable view of Gabbard held by the Trumpenkampfverbande, and Gabbard’s profound links to a branch of the Hare Krishna cult run by a fellow named Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa.

A major focal point of the program is the occult fascist nature of the views of Hare Krishna sect founder Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whom we shall refer to as Prabuhada. Central to our examination of Gabbard is the question of whether or not she might be a “ringer” inside the Democratic Party and–possibly–a mind-control job?

We begin with discussion of Tulsi Gabbard’s high-profile support for Bernie Sanders. ” . . . . Sanders has been surprisingly low-key in his response to this latest wave of populist delusion. Time is short. He must forcefully tell his supporters to abandon their misguided write-in mission, and soon. Every minute he keeps quiet, spoiler campaigns such as Op Deny 270 and BernieVote.com recruit more voters from Facebook and Twitter to write in Sanders. In California, 55 people managed to register as “electors” to get Sanders approved as an official write-in candidate, with Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as vice president. The Sandernistas spent last week arguing that Clinton is just as “evil” as Trump, based on rumors – whipped up disgracefully by rogue pro-Trump FBI agents, then quashed Sunday with a big “never mind” by FBI Director James Comey – that freshly unearthed emails might yet get her indicted. .[We wonder if “Op Deny 270 and BernieVote.com might be some of the voter suppression operations Trump dirty tricks maven Roger Stone boasted of during the campaign?–D.E.] . .”

Of considerable interest are Gabbard’s incoherent views on Muslims/Islam and how they relate to her support for Sanders:

She has beeen critical of Obama because his stance on ISIS doesn’t label the group as representative of Islam: “ . . . . ‘Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Afraid to Criticize President Obama on ISIS,’ intones a recent ABC News headline. The story describes remarks by Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D), who has for the past month been all over the media slamming Obama’s refusal to directly associate ISIS and other terrorists with the Islamic faith. She’s particularly a favorite of right-wing media. . . .”

Gabbard’s support for Sanders is ostensibly due to her opposition to wars of regime change (a stance with which we agree, BTW.) This contrasts with her anti-Islam militancy: ” . . . . The newspaper characterized her support as “tempered” and wrote that she reiterated her concerns over the former secretary of State’s Middle East policies. . . . Gabbard, a veteran of two Middle East deployments, resigned her post as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to endorse Sanders, a Vermont senator. She said then, in a video, that America could elect ‘a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.’ . . .”

Curiously, Gabbard has joined Sanders in supporting African-American Muslim Keith Ellison for chair of the DNC. We feel that IF that were to happen, it would play right into the hands of Roger Stone/Trump/Steve Bannon et al. Is that the real goal of Gabbard’s stance?

Ellison has networked with Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in the U.S., something that will work to the benefit of Roger Stone/Trump/Steve Bannon et al.
gabbardtrumpNext, the program recaps networking between the milieux of Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard and Narendra Modi:

Trump’s Indian partners in his real estate projects overlap the milieu of Modi’s BJP (a cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist and fascist party the RSS.) ” . . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. The Lodha Group has already negotiated with the United States government; it announced a landmark purchase of a property, known as the Washington House, on tony Altamount Road, from the American government for 3.75 billion rupees, almost $70 million. His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. Mr. Mittal, in an interview, has denied having any connection with the real estate company. . . .”

Trump interviewed Gabbard for a cabinet position: “. . . . Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a high-profile Bernie Sanders supporter during the Democratic primaries, is “under serious consideration” for various Cabinet positions in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, according to a senior official on the transition team.A ccording to the official, the 35-year-old Hawaii congresswoman is being looked as a candidate for secretary of state, secretary of defense or United Nations ambassador. If selected, Gabbard will be the first woman as well as the youngest pick for Trump’s Cabinet. . . .”

Trump’s “alt-right” advisor Steve Bannon is a fan of Gabbard’s: ” . . . . Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism along with her ability to invoke strong anti-establishment populist sentiment on the left. . . .”

Bannon is also a fan of Narendra Modi and has followed his political rise closely: ” . . . . Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’ It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”

Gabbard is also a big fan of Narendra Modi, having been involved with the planning of Modi’s U.S. visit and networking with BJP members: ” . . . . Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii. . . . She had spoken to Modi after his victory in the Indian general elections and congratulated him and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection. . . .”

On a trip to India, Gabbard networked with both the BJP and the RSS, the Hindu nationalist/fascist party for which Modi’s BJP is a cat’s paw. (All of Modi’s cabinet appointments were drawn from the RSS. Modeled on the German Nazi Party and Mussolini’s blackshirts, the RSS killed Gandhi.): “. . . . Speaking at a fundraising event for the BJP in August 2014 . . . Gabbard said that Modi’s election victory was only possible because ‘people stood up, one by one by one by one, and said we will demand that this change occurs.’ . . . Gabbard was treated as royalty on her visit to India last year. As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her ‘the Sangh’s mascot’ in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .”

Marketed as “the first Hindu in Congress,” Gabbard, her family, her in-laws and political milieu are deeply connected to an offshoot of the Hare Krishna sect in Hawaii led by Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa:

Gabbard’s Washington-based chief of staff, Kainoa Penaroza, is the son of Bill Penaroza, linked to a political front for Butler’s organization. ” . . . . Kainoa Penaroza, who was appointed as Gabbard’s Washington, D.C.-based chief of staff last month despite his relative lack of political experience, is the son of Bill Penaroza, who was among a slate of 14 candidates running for a variety of offices in 1976 under an enigmatic political party called the Independents for Godly Government. The party’s connection to Butler was revealed in a three-part investigative series by the Honolulu Advertiser’s Water Wright in 1977. . . .”

Penaroza’s wife works as Gabbard’s Washington fundraiser. Both lived at a property owned by a group that owned Healthy’s, a store controlled by Butler’s group. ” . . . . Penaroza, 30, and his wife, Alana Leigh Penaroza, who now works as Gabbard’s D.C. fundraiser, at one time lived in a Kailua property owned by Joseph Bismark, a Singapore-based businessman whose company, QI Group, bought Healthy’s in 2007. According to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Healthy’s owns Noni Connection LLC, which lists Kainoa Penaroza as its director and secretary. . . .”

Abaham Williams, Gabbard’s now-husband, is from a family with deep ties to the Butler cult. ” . . . . Abraham Williams, Gabbard’s 26-year-old fiancé, is a freelance cinematographer who also grew up in a family with strong ties to Butler. His mother, Anya Anthony, is listed as a registered agent of Wai Lana Productions LLC, a company named after Butler’s wife, Wai Lan, that runs www.wailana.com, which sells yoga instruction DVDs, clothing and other accessories. . . . .”

Gabbard’s mother-in-law–Anya Anthony–is part of the Butler cult milieu and is the manager of Gabbard’s district office in Honolulu. ” . . . . Anthony is now the manager of Gabbard’s district office in Honolulu. Last month, Gabbard put a post on Facebook introducing Anthony as her soon-to-be mother-in-law. Gabbard noted that she had asked the Congressional Ethics Committee to determine if it was ethical for the congresswoman to employ her future mother-in-law. The committee signed off on Anthony’s continued employment, a committee spokesman confirmed to Civil Beat.

Sunil Khemaney, one Gabbard’s supporters on her trip to India where she networked with Modi, the BJP and the RSS, is tied to the Butler business milieu. ” . . . . Sunil Khemaney, who accompanied Gabbard on her December trip to India, is listed in Wai Lana Productions’ business registration records as its manager. He is also the director of Healthy’s and one of the trustees of Wai Lana Yoga Trust, whose mission is to ‘educate and teach the general public about the philosophy, moral standards and practices of yoga for the benefit of mankind.’ Khemaney is also the vice president of the East West Yoga Foundation, a nonprofit registered in Arizona. Chris Butler is listed in Arizona corporation records as its director, along with his wife, who is the president and director. . . .”

Tulsi’s father Mike is also tied to the Butler cult: ” . . . . Mike Gabbard has long maintained that he’s a Catholic, not Hare Krishna. But, in Honolulu Magazine’s 2004 profile, he acknowledged his ties to Butler: ‘Although I’m not a member of the Science of Identity Foundation, I’m eternally thankful to Chris Butler … whose teachings of karma yoga (selfless service) and bhakti yoga (devotion to God) have brought me back to my Catholic roots and the fundamental teachings of Christ.’ . . . . Mike Gabbard was in the audience at a taping of Chris Butler’s TV show, “Jagad Guru Speaks,” which aired for several years in the 1980s and 1990s. . . .”

Tulsi’s mother Carol is also tied to Butler and both of her parents sat on the board of directors of Buter’s group: ” . . . . . Multiple historical documents show that, at various points in the history of the Science of Identity Foundation, both Mike and Carol Gabbard sat on its board. According to various reports, they were bestowed Sanskrit names, ‘Krishna Katha das’ and ‘Devahuti dasi,’ respectively. . . .”

Gabbard herself denotes Butler as her personal guru at around 3:45 in an embedded video, the autio track of which is contained in the show. Note that the talk Gabbard is giving is an adulatory presentation of Prabuhada.

Prabhupada’s views are noteworthy for our purposes: “. . . . ISKCON founder A C Bhaktivedanta Swami’s views were even more bizarre than I expected: rape victims asked for it, Blacks are inferior and should be enslaved, Aryans are the supreme race, Hitler was right when attacking the Jews, and the “non-Aryan” majority of the human race are useless eaters no better than dogs. The preferred form of government is an absolutist monarchy. Racism is apparently an integral part of the ideal Vedic society, since “shudra” (the designation of the worker-caste) means “black”, which in turn literally refers to Blacks, a category which also includes Dravidians from southern India. . . .”

The program concludes with a longer look at Prabhupada’s fascist/racist views–an examination that will be set forth at greater length in the next program.
Program Highlights Include:

a)An examination of the fragmenting and usurpation that befell the Hare Krishna cult after Prabhupada’s death. This, too, will be set forth at greater length in the next program.
b)Speculation about Gabbard’s possible role in the compromising of the DNC.
c)Review of the allegation by Craig Murray that he gave the information compromising the DNC to WikiLeaks, after having received it from a dissatisfied DNC insider.
d)Gabbard’s curious stance on Trump’s appointment of recently-retired generals to fill key cabinet posts.


FTR #939 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 13: Unsettling In (German Ostpolitik, Part 4)

Continuing discussion of the Trump administration as the transformation of the Underground Reich into an above-ground mass movement, we return to the subject of the supposed Russian “hacks” during the election, German Ostpolitik and an apparent struggle between the American “Deep State” and the Trumpenkampfverbande.

Citing the extensive capabilities of the NSA, a group of veteran intelligence officers has concluded that the “evidence” of Russia having hacked the DNC is not credible: ” . . . The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like ‘our best guess’ or ‘our opinion’ or ‘our estimate’ etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been ‘hacked’ cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked. The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC. . . .”

In the context of the high-profile hacks, the program reviews information from previous discussions in FTR #’s 917, 923, 924, 925, 926 dealing with WikiLeaks, Trump’s dirty tricks operative Roger Stone, Edward Snowden, the DNC hack and the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” and the “painting of Oswald Red,” including:The fact that Trump’s dirty tricks operative Roger Stone was in direct contact with Julian Assange prior to, and during, WikiLeaks’ publishing of the e-mails from DNC and John De Podesta;The fact that Stone promised an “October Surprise” from WikiLeaks that would affect the campaign; The fact that available evidence does NOT implicate the Russians in the DNC hack at all; The fact that the Shadow Brokers accessing of NSA hacking technologies was probably not a hack at all, but a leak by an insider using a thumb drive; Edward Snowden’s suspicious and, frankly, damning support for the untenable “the Russians did it” interpretation of the DNC penetration and the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” Snowden’s curious tweet issued after the DNC hack and just before the Shadow Brokers surfaced–Snowden said “It’s time,” which has never been explained (we suspect that it may have been a signal to release the ANT/TAO material;) the fact that WikiLeaks associate Jacob Applebaum, who appears to have assisted Snowden’s flight from Hawaii to Hong Kong, is seen as a suspect in the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” Applebaum’s and Snowden’s affiliation with the CIA.

Next, the program highlights the allegation that a DNC insider leaked the e-mails to WikiLeaks: “. . . . And, even though The New York Times and other big news outlets are reporting as flat fact that Russia hacked the Democratic email accounts and gave the information to WikiLeaks, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told the London Daily Mail that he personally received the email data from a “disgusted” Democrat. [Might that have been Tulsi Gabbard?–D.E.] . . . Murray added that his meeting was with an intermediary for the Democratic leaker, not the leaker directly. [Might that have been Roger Stone?–D.E.]. . .”

In the context of a possible Trump mole inside the DNC, possibly assisting the “hacks,” we highlight Trumenkampfverbande links to the former DNC Deputy Chairperson Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and to Narendra Modi’s BJP, a political front and cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist/fascist RSS. The salient points include:

Trump’s business links with members of Modi’s BJP. “. . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. . . . His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. . . .”

a) Trump’s interview of Gabbard for a possible cabinet position.
b) Steven K. Bannon’s affinity for Gabbard: ” . . . . Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism . . .”
c) Bannon’s strong affinity for Modi: ” . . . The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’ It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”
d) Gabbard’s association with Modi and the BJP: “. . . . Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American in the US Congress, called on visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Sunday and presented him with a ginger flower garland from Hawaii. Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii. . . . She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection. . . .”
e) Gabbard’s association with the RSS: ” . . . As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her “the Sangh’s mascot” in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .”

The FBI has weighed in on the “hacks,” opining that it was Russia trying to elevate Trump. If so, that would place the FBI and Russia on the same page, as the bureau’s nakedly partisan behavior during the campaign is quite obvious at this point. When the FBI supposedly detected Russia hacking the DNC, it called the IT “Help Desk” and the call was treated by the receptionist as a prank call. ” . . . So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT ‘help desk.’ As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: ‘We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.’ . . . ”

VICE News has filed a lawsuit against the FBI requesting information about a number of subjects which could prove very explosive IF the bureau divulges the full extent of the information it has on the subjects. “ . . . The suit also seeks all FBI emails mentioning Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin, Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner, Trump, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump advisers Corey Lewandowski, Roger Stone and Kellyanne Conway, CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord, Fox News host Sean Hannity, or Fox News anchor Bret Baier, among others. . . . ”

The latter part of the program highlights a number of topics that will be covered at greater length in FTR #940.

Program Highlights Include:

a) Trump’s appointment of another “Alt-Right” figure (Stephen Miller) as a top adviser.
b) The apparent role of Ukrainian fascists in generating the “Russia did it” disinformation about the DNC hack.
d) The Austrian Freedom Party’s networking with Trump National Security Adviser-designate Michael Flynn and their support for lifting Russian sanctions.
e) Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson’s opposition to sanctions against Russia.
f) The Bormann capital network’s massive holdings in Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon, now Exxon Mobil.)
g) Indications that Ukrainian fascist networks may be involved with the “Russia did it” meme on the high-profile hacks.


FTR #937 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 11: Settling In (The Underground Reich Comes into Plain View, Part 4)

This program continues our analysis of the transformation of the Underground Reich into a triumphant, broad-based movement. Some key features of the analysis include:

“Alt-Right” luminary Richard B. Spencer’s greeting to his followers at a meeting held a few blocks from the White House a couple of weeks after Trump’s victory: ” . . . ‘Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!’ That’s how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Saturday, gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which describes itself as ‘an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.’ . . .”

Spencer’s referencing of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda, racial theory and attacks on the media in that same address: “. . . . He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the ‘children of the sun,’ a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were ‘awakening to their own identity.’ . . . Mr. Spencer’s after-dinner speech began with a polemic against the ‘mainstream media,’ before he briefly paused. ‘Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German?’ he said. The audience immediately screamed back, ‘Lügenpresse,’ reviving a Nazi-era word that means ‘lying press.’ Mr. Spencer suggested that the news media had been critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign in order to protect Jewish interests. . . . ‘One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,’ he said, referring to a Jewish fable about the golem, a clay giant that a rabbi brings to life to protect the Jews. . . . Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Spencer said, was ‘the victory of will,’ a phrase that echoed the title of the most famous Nazi-era propaganda film. [Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will.”–D.E.] . . . .”

Trump’s chief White House advisor, “Alt-Right” publishing kingpin Stephen P. Bannon describing himself as an “economic nationalist” and discussing how exciting the coming period will be: ” . . . I’m an economic nationalist,’ Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. [The term “Nazi” is a contraction of “National Socialist”–D.E.] . . . ‘It will be as exciting as the 1930s . . . conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.’ . . .”

Bannon also referenced elements he thought were good exemplars of “darkness.” “. . . . Bannon, in the [Hollywood Reporter] interview, also gave some insight into how he viewed his political foes (presumably, liberals and the media) — and the ‘darkness’ he touts in fighting against them. ‘Darkness is good,’ Bannon said. ‘Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they…get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.’ . . . ”

The fact that New York Times columnist Charles Blow voiced what we feel is an accurate sentiment: ” . . . This may well be the beginning of the end: the early moments of a historical pivot point, when the slide of the republic into something untoward and unrecognizable still feels like a small collection of poor judgments and reversible decisions, rather than the forward edge of an enormous menace inching its way forward and grinding up that which we held dear and foolishly thought, as lovers do, would ever endure. . . .”

Blow’s underscoring of Trump National Security Advisor General (ret.) Michael Flynn’s affinity for “Alt-Right”/white supremacist Mike Cernovich: “. . . . In October, Flynn tweeted: ‘Follow Mike @Cernovich He has a terrific book, Gorilla Mindset. Well worth the read. @realDonaldTrump will win on 8 NOV!!!’ The New Yorker dubbed Mike Cernovich ‘the meme mastermind of the alt-right’ in a lengthy profile. The magazine pointed out: ‘On his blog, Cernovich developed a theory of white-male identity politics: men were oppressed by feminism, and political correctness prevented the discussion of obvious truths, such as the criminal proclivities of certain ethnic groups.’ . . . . ”

Much of the program focuses on the media and communication and the corruption of the very concept of truth and the profession of journalism. The growing, dominant phenomenon of fake news was a major factor in the campaign. The growth of social media, the role of WikiLeaks and the proclivity of Donald Trump and those around him for tweeting disinformation are heralding the transformation of journalism into propaganda.

In addition to National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, his son and advisor Michael Flynn, Jr. is a major advocate of “fake news,” saying that a story should assumed to be true until proven false. We note that Flynn, Sr. disseminated a fake news story about the Clintons alleged involvement with a child-molestation ring. That story tracks back to Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, whose sister, Betsy DeVos, has been nominated Education Secretary by Trump. Another of Trump’s advisors, Joseph E. Schmitz, succeeded Prince as the head of Blackwater. With powerful, militarily capable outfits like Blackwater (since renamed) in the Trumpenkampfverbande, the capabilities for violent suppression of dissenting journalism are enormous.

Trump has been extremely vocal in his criticism of dissenting media, lambasting broadcast journalists at a recent meeting and moving to “loosen libel laws.” With Trump poised to appoint several Supreme Court justices and other federal judges, the capabilities for the Trumpenkampfverbande to eliminate free speech will be profound. Trump has also been one of a number of billionaires who have made a point of suing media voices they dislike. This comes at a time when the growth of the internet has made media outlets more financially vulnerable to that sort of pressure.

Other Program Highlights Include: the creation of a “Professor Watchlist” by a right-wing youth group; rumination about how “open-carry laws” (such as one in Texas permitting college students to take handguns to class) might affect the well being of professors on that watch list; the suspension of Frank Navarro, a Mountain View (California) high school teacher and Holocaust expert, for comparing (rightly) Trump’s rise to the rise of Adolf Hitler; The U.S. vote against U.N. resolution condemning the celebration of Nazism and neo-Nazism on the grounds that it would restrict free speech (tell that to Frank Navarro!)


FTR #936 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 5

This fifth and final installment of the series references the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. As our reading of Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”

In the previous program, we opined that we all, in a sense, are enrolled in Trump University. By the same token, we could all be said to be playing the board game Trump: The Game. ” . . . . Then there’s his Monopoly-like board game. When Trump and executives from Milton-Bradley introduced Trump: The Game in 1989, the developer surprised everyone by declaring those royalties would go to charity, too. Milton-Bradley took Trump at his word. It also figured it might improve sales, which were weak, if people realized their purchases would not enrich a presumed billionaire but go to charity. Its television ads told potential buyers: ‘Mr. Trump’s proceeds from Trump: The Game will be donated to charity.’ . . . Trump has said he made $808,000 and that the money was donated to his Donald J. Trump Foundation. . . . At the time, I spent a day calling New York and New Jersey charities trying to find any disclosures of gifts made by Trump. . . . But call after call produced nothing. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 17.)

Trump appeared to have won over a majority of voting military veterans and a poll of active-duty service members indicated that most preferred Trump. Trump himself avoided military service during the Vietnam War. “. . . . Donald turned eighteen in 1964, when the death toll in Vietnam was rising fast. He got four student deferments and one medical deferment, after his doctor wrote that he had a bone spur in his foot. Which foot? a journalist asked years later. Trump said he could not recall. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 131-132.)

In the fall of 2015, Trump boycotted a GOP primary campaign debate because Megyn Kelly was to be the on-air host. Trump instead went to an event on the Battleship Iowa museum to what he misrepresented as a major veterans organization. ” . . . . Trump instead went to the Battleship Iowa, now a museum at anchor in Long Beach, California, to deliver what his campaign said would be a major address on national defense. Trump praised the sponsor of the event, Veterans for a Strong America, and told the audience that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of people belonged to the organization. There were evidently two related organizations, both nonprofits, though Trump and his host never made that clear to the audience on the ship or watching on television. One was a charity, the other one of those dark money political groups that have expanded since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, enabling money from undisclosed sources to influence elections. A quick internet check would revealed to the Trump campaign that the IRS had revoked the nonprofit status of Veterans for a Strong America due to their failure to file required disclosure reports. A charity disclosure organization, Guidestar, reported that it had no record of any board of directors, Every indication pointed to Veterans for a Strong America being a one-man enterprise run by a South Dakota lawyer named Joel Arends, whose operation was under investigation for suspected election improprieties in Arizona and Texas. Reporters later learned the organization had thirty dollars in the bank and debts ten times that size. None of this was in line with Trump’s promotion of the group’s immense size, influence, and good works. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 135-136.)

Next, the program highlights how Trump promotes himself and his projects using The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. Trump, his daughter Ivanka, his son Donald, Jr., the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization (Donald Calamari) and Trump’s butler Anthony Senecal are major figures in this organization. The main figure in the organization is Joseph Cinque, aka “Joey No Socks” or “The Preppy Don.” ” . . . If those sound like names that might be associated with a figure involved in organized crime, it’s because they are. New York police with a search warrant knocked on the door of Cinque’s Park Avenue South apartment in 1989. Cinque declined to let them in. The police applied a battering ram. Inside the apartment they found a trove of stolen art, including two Marc Chagall prints valued at $40,000. they had been taken in an art gallery heist. Cinque made a deal to plead to a misdemeanor, but prosecutors scrapped the plea bargain after Cinque was seen talking to John Gotti, the ‘dapper don’ who became head of the Gambino crime family by arranging the murder of his predecessor Paul Castellano–one of the secret owners of the company that supplied concrete for many Trump buildings.

“Gotti told Cinque that he would ‘take care of the DA,’ an apparent reference to Anne Heyman, the prosecutor who had offered the plea bargain. . . . Heyman ordered a more thorough investigation of Cinque. She alleged that the investigation showed that Cinque ‘was dealing drugs out of his apartment and fencing stolen art-work.’ Heyman also said that Cinque’s apartment on Central Park South appeared to be a retail outlet for stolen clothing, including Armani suits and silk shirts. In 1990, Cinque pleaded guilty to a felony: receiving stolen property. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 158.)

Another interesting, close associate of Donald Trump was Felix Satter, who changed the spelling of his name, adding an extra “T” to avoid being recognized on internet searches. ” . . . ‘Satter’s’ name appears with just one ‘T’ in a host of places. There’s the deed to his home for example. It is also spelled with only one ‘T’ on New York State court papers from his 1991 felony conviction for stabbing a man in the face with the stem of a margarita glass. The name Sater with one ‘T’ also appears on federal court papers in a $40 million organized crime stock swindle he confessed to in 1998, a scheme that benefited him as well as the Genovese and Gambino crime families. The stock swindle involved fake stock brokerage firms using high-pressure tactics to get naive people to buy worthless shares from Sater and his mob friends. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 162.)

Trump’s close associate Felix was able to escape serious legal retribution by going to work for the CIA. ” . . . . There is every indication that the extraordinarily lenient treatment resulted from Sater playing a get-out-of-jail free card. Shortly before his secret guilty plea, Sater became a freelance operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of his fellow stock swindlers, Salvatore Lauria, wrote a book about it. The Scorpion and the Frog is described on its cover as ‘the true story of one man’s fraudulent rise and fall n the Wall Street of the nineties.’ According to Lauria–and the court files that have been unsealed–Sater helped the CIA buy small missiles before they got to terrorists. He also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 165.)

The last text reading concludes with discussion of Trump’s unsavory real estate deals. Luring unwary buyers in with the prestigious Trump brand name, ‘The Donald” left a great many of them high and dry when the truth emerged about what was really going on. In this sense, too, we are ALL investors in the Trump brand name, and likely to receive the same treatment as his unwary real estate customers.

A Baja California (Mexico) project is typical of Trump’s methodology and operations in this regard. ” . . . . A June 2007 newsletter notified buyers that construction was underway. The next month, the Trump Baja News reported, ‘our new and excited homeowners now are part of an elite group of vacation homeowners who own property developed by one of the most respected names in real estate, Donald J. Trump.’ Three months later, in October, when Wall Street crashed under the weight of the toxic mortgages and other Baja real estate projects faltered, the same newsletter carried a message ‘From the desk of Ivanka Trump.’ Ivanka assured the buyers that their investment was sound. ‘Though it may be rue that some of Baja’s developments could slow down, these market conditions simply do not apply to Trump Ocean Resort–or any other Trump development,’ she wrote.

“Two months later, in December 2007, the newsletter advised buyers of newly discovered geological problems afflicting the building site. A few months later, in March 2008, anxious buyers received calls or letters. Construction loans had been approved, would be funded shortly, and work would be underway. This was nine months after buyers had been told in writing that construction had already begun. Still, construction did not proceed.

“All of these promotions, sales pitches, and newsletter updates created the impression that Trump was the builder and the developer, words he used. The buyers later said they bought in because Trump was the developer or builder. That understanding then changed abruptly.

“The worst news arrived two before Christmas 2008. What had been described as a partnership between ‘the Trump Organization, Donald J. Trump,’ and the other people and companies involved was described in a new way. Neither Trump nor the Trump Organization were investment partners in the Trump Ocean Resort. They were not the developers, either. They had merely licensed the use of the Trump name. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 169-170.)

It is gruesomely ironic that the bulk of Trump’s scamming revolves around his real estate empire. It was, of course, the collapse of the real estate market that led to the financial collapse of 2008.


FTR #935 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 4

This fourth program in a series excerpting the book “The Making of Donald Trump” by David Cay Johnston begins by examining Trump University, the fraudulent educational institution that was the focal point of several lawsuits recently settled by Donald Trump. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 117-128.)

Mr. Emory feels that, in a sense, the case of Trump University is a microcosm for what America will be under a Trump presidency. ” . . . . The testimony above all comes from a 2012 suit, but two other lawsuits claimed that the whole Trump University enterprise was a fraud–a scam in which the desperate and the gullible paid Trump about $40 million for what turned out to be high-pressure salesmanship. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 120–121.)

In a very real sense, Trump’s pitch in a promotional video embodies Trump as a professional, a person and a politician: ” . . . ‘At Trump University, we teach success . . . . That’s what it’s all about–success. It’s going to happen to you. We’re going to have professors and adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific–terrific people, terrific brains, successful. We are going to have the best of the best. These are all people that are handpicked by me.’ . . . . None of those statements were true. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 117—118.)

Representative of the operations of this “university” is Trump’s “faculty.” ” . . . . Trump did not even honor his commitment to handpick the faculty. In 2012, when Trump was sued for civil fraud in California, attorney Rachel Jensen read the names of one faculty member after another, displayed photographs of them, and offered video footage of faculty at Trump University ‘live events.’ Trump, who complained that this line of questioning was a waste of time, could not identify a single person. ‘Too many years ago . . . too many years ago . . . it’s ancient history,’ he said. Some of these events had taken place fewer than two years earlier. Again and again and again, Trump testified that he could not remember. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; p. 119.)

An investigation of Trump University in Texas had a revealing political footnote: ” . . . . To the seasoned fraud investigators who compiled the report, the case against Trump seemed ironclad. The investigators concluded with the suggestion that Trump . . . . be named personally in a civil action suit alleging deceptive trade practices. We know all this because John Owens, who retired in 2011 as chief deputy in the Texas attorney general’s consumer protection unit made the internal report public in 2016. The Texas attorney general’s office, Owens’s former employer, responded with a letter citing six laws Owens may have broken in releasing the report and suggesting his law license might be revoked. . . . Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general, took no public action. . . . Abbott has since been elected governor. He endorsed Trump in 2016. . . . In 2013, three years after [assistant Texas attorney general Rick] Berlin failed to persuade Abbott to adopt his recommendation to recover money for Texas consumers, Trump donated $35,000 to Abbott’s campaign for governor. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 122-123.)

The Abbott-Trump relationship mirrors the highly suspicious contribution Trump made to the reelection campaign of Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who dropped the investigation into Trump University in exchange for the “favor.”

As reported during the campaign, Trump’s contribution was made from one of Trump’s charities, which are the focal point of Chapter 16 of Johnston’s book. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 129-134.)

Enjoying the support of many veterans, according to polls, and, also according to polls, active duty military personnel, Trump attempted to use veterans as campaign props by donating to them in violation of regulations governing charitable donations. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 135-136.)


FTR #934 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 3

For some weeks, we have been–and will be–reading most of the book into the record, to provide people with a measure against which to evaluate not just “The Donald,” as his first wife Ivana called him, but our society, its institutions and its citizens. We can’t recommend strongly enough that listeners buy this book, read it and use whatever means available to spread the word about it. (We note that neither Mr. Emory nor any of the stations that air this program get money from this book, its publisher or author.)

This third installment of the series commences with a review the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. As our reading of Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”

The program features a continuation of Johnston’s account of Trump’s “curious” relationship with convicted felon and drug dealer Joey Weichselbaum. “Among the assorted criminals with whom Trump did business over more than three decades, his most mysterious dealings involved a drug trafficker named Joseph Weichselbaum. Trump did unusual favors for the three-time felon, repeatedly putting his lucrative casino license at risk to help a major cocaine and marijuana trafficker for reasons that remain unfathomable. . . .”

During the campaign, Trump targeted disaffected, alienated blue-collar workers, chafing under the effects of globalization and lingering damage from the financial collapse of 2008. “The Donald” also, of course, made expelling illegal immigrants a cornerstone of his campaign. There could be no better balance in which to hang the integrity of President-elect Donald Trump than to examine the chapter Johnson titled “The Polish Brigade.” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 69-76.)

When demolishing the old Bonwit Teller building in New York City to make way for one of his signature projects, Trump not only broke a promise to salvage the valuable art deco piece at the building’s entrance (providing disingenuous responses to criticism about this), but employed illegal Polish immigrants to dismantle the structure. The abuse to which Trump subjected those immigrants is striking and bodes poorly for those elements of “Middle America” who supported him during the election.

The “Polish Brigade” were not given even elementary working tools, nor basic safety equipment such as hard hats. They worked long hours at very low pay under horrible working conditions and were often not paid at all, until they threatened a top Trump assistant, Thomas Macari.

“Instead of hiring an experienced demolition contractor, Trump chose Kaszycki & Sons Contractors, a window washing business owned by a Polish emigre. Upward of two hundred men began demolishing the building in midwinter 1980. The men worked without hard hats. They lacked facemasks, even though asbestos–known to cause incurable cancers–swirled all around them. They didn’t have goggles to protect their eyes from the bits of concrete and steel that sometimes flew through the air like bullets. The men didn’t have power tools either; they brought down the twelve-story building with sledgehammers. . . .

. . . . The demolition workers were not American citizens, but ‘had recently arrived from Poland,’ a federal court later determined. The court also found that ‘they were undocumented and worked ‘off the books.’ No payroll records were kept, no Social Security or other taxes were withheld and they were not paid in accordance with wage laws. They were told they would be paid $4.00 or in some cases $5.00 an hour for working 12-hour shifts seven days a week. In fact, they were paid irregularly and incompletely.’ . . .

. . . . Fed up that their paychecks kept bouncing, some of the workers corralled Thomas Macari, Trump’s personal representative they showed him to the edge of one of the higher floors and asked if he would like them to hang him over the side. The workers, likely hungry, demanded their pay. Otherwise, no work.

When Macari told his boss what had happened, Trump placed a panicked telephone call to Daniel Sullivan–a labor fixer, FBI informant, suspect in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and Trump’s personal negotiator for the Grand Hyatt contract with the hotel workers’ union.

‘Donald told me he was having some difficulties,’ Sullivan later testified, ‘and he admitted to me that–seeking my advice–he had some illegal Polish employees on the job. . . .

. . . .There is no record of any federal, state, or city safety inspector filing a report during the demolition. In a 1990 Trenton restaurant interview. I asked Sullivan how a project of this size could have been erected in the heart of Manhattan without attracting government job safety inspectors. Sullivan just looked at me. When I widened my eyes to make clear that I wanted an explicitly answer, he said, ‘You know why.’ When I persisted, anticipating that Sullivan might specify bribes to inspectors, he said that unions and concrete suppliers were not the only areas where Trump’s lawyer, Roy Cohn, had influence. . . . ” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 70-72.)

The text excerpts conclude with a reading of most of chapter 10 of Johnston’s book, covering how Trump’s estimates of his own net worth varied according to his mood at the time of the inquiry. This did not stop him from suing journalist Tim O’Brien for allegedly mis-reporting Trump’s worth. (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 77-83.)


FTR #933 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 2

This second installment of a series commences with a review the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton.

As our reading of David Cay Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”

In the first excerpt read into the record in this broadcast, we finish a chapter in which David Cay Johnston relates the genesis of Trump’s relationship with Senator Joe McCarthy’s right-hand man Roy Cohn. Having been sued by the Justice Department because of his discrimination against people of color when renting apartments in his properties, Trump turned to Cohn. It was the beginning of a long relationship between the long-time red-baiter and organized crime apologist and “The Donald.” Trump and Cohn lost the case. Note Trump’s placing of loyalty above all else, a prioritization that Johnston correctly characterizes in the italicize excerpt that follows: ” . . . Elyse Goldweber, the novice Justice Department lawyer, told the court that one employee who spoke to investigators was not being named because ‘he was afraid that the Trumps would have him ‘knocked off,’ or words to that effect’ for revealing the techniques used to deny blacks and other minorities. . . . In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump said he told Cohn, ‘I’d rather fight than fold, because as soon as you fold once you get the reputation’ of someone who settles case. But faced with a case in which neither facts nor the law were on his side, Trump folded and settled. . . .Trump handled the adverse settlement the way he had learned from his father: by spinning the news and offering a simple and quotable narrative . . . Trump’s takeaway from this early loss was not that times had changed and civil rights laws would be enforced. . . . He also learned to place loyalty above all else. . . . That is, of course, the kind of perspective we expect from mobsters, dictators, and others whose primary regard is for unflinching support, not for allegiance to truth or facts. . . .”

As noted in the program, on the day this was recorded, Trump University settled in a massive lawsuit by students who had been defrauded by the “school.” Trump played it in the fashion he learned from his father and that he applied in the housing discrimination suit, highlighted above: “. . . In The Art of the Deal, Trump said he told Cohn, ‘I’d rather fight than fold, because a soon as you fold once you get the reputation’ of someone who settles case. But faced with a case in which neither facts nor the law were on his side, Trump folded and settled. . . .Trump handled the adverse settlement the way he had leaned from his father: by spinning the news and offering a simple and quotable narrative . . . .”

Johnston notes at the end of chapter 5 that Trump learned that having Cohn as his attorney also had other benefits: ” . . . . Hiring him [Cohn] could ensure that his Manhattan construction projects moved smoothly. Among Cohn’s other clients were two of America’s most powerful Mafia figures who controlled key unions attached to demolition and construction in New York City.. . . In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump boasts that when he applied for a casino owner’s license in 1981, he persuaded the New Jersey attorney general to limit the investigation of his background. It was perhaps the most lucrative negotiation of Trump’s life, one that would embarrass state officials a decade later when Trump’s involvement with mobsters, mob associates, and swindlers became clear. . . . ”

Against the background of Cohn’s mob connections, Johnston sets forth Trump’s utilization of those assets to realize his New York City real estate undertakings. Remarkably, such associations did not interdict Trump’s Atlantic City [New Jersey] gaming projects, which normally would have been precluded by such links.

Exemplifying Trump’s organized crime associates and the services they provided–courtesy of Roy Cohn–were Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. ” . . . Trump bought his Manhattan ready-mix [concrete] from a company called S & A Concrete. Mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano secretly owned the firm. S & A charged the inflated prices that the LeFrak and Resnik families complained about, LeFrak to both laws enforcement and “The New York Times.” As [reporter Wayne] Barrett noted, by choosing to build with ready-mix concrete rather than other materials, Trump put himself ‘at the mercy of a legion of concrete racketeers.’ But having an ally in Roy Cohn mitigated Trump’s concerns. With Cohn as his fixer, Trump had no worries that the Mafia bosses would have the unions stop work on Trump Tower; Salerno and Castellano were Cohn’s clients. Indeed, when the cement workers struck in summer 1982, the concrete continued to flow at Trump Tower. . . . Just as revealing was Trump’s association with John Cody, the corrupt head of Teamsters Local 282. Cody, under indictment when he ordered the citywide strike in 1982, directed that concrete deliveries continue to Trump Tower. Cody told Barrett, ‘Donald liked to deal with me through Roy Cohn. . . . ”

The excerpts read from Johnston’s remarkable tome conclude with examination of Trump’s relationship with Joey Weichselbaum, a convicted drug trafficker whose relationship with Trump is highly unusual and opaque, even by “The Donald’s” standards. “Among the assorted criminals with whom Trump did business over more than three decades, his most mysterious dealings involved a drug trafficker named Joseph Weichselbaum. Trump did unusual favors for the three-time felon, repeatedly putting his lucrative casino license at risk to help a major cocaine and marijuana trafficker for reasons that remain unfathomable. . . .”

Whereas Trump had many other places to turn to for the various aeronautical, automotive and supplemental services Weichelsbaum and his brother provided, Trump continued to use them and provided them and their associates with remarkable “perks.”

With Trump poised to name a number of Supreme Court justices, we note that the venue of one of Weichelsbaum’s cases was changed in a highly suspicious, revealing and inauspicious manner. ” . . . When Weichelsbaum made a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to one of the eighteen counts in the Cincinnati case, something very suspicious happened. His case was transferred out of Ohio for the guilty plea and the sentencing. Logically, the case might have gone to South Florida, where Bradford Motors [one of the Weichselbaum drug-trafficking fronts] was located, or to New York, where Weichselbaum lived. Indeed, that is exactly what Weichselbaum’s Ohio lawyer, Arnold Morelli, sought in a January 30, 1986 motion requesting his case be transferred to either Manhattan or Miami for ‘the convenience of human beings such as the defendant and witnesses.’ Instead the Weichelsbaum case was moved to New Jersey. There it was assigned to Judge Maryanne Trump Barry–Donald Trump’s older sister.

Judge Barry recused herself three weeks later, as judicial ethics required, but the mere act of removing herself from the case came with a powerful message: a sitting federal judge, as well as her husband (lawyer John Barry) and family, repeatedly flew in helicopters connected to a major drug trafficker. . . .When Judge Harold A. Ackerman replaced Trump’s sister, Trump wrote him a letter seeking leniency for Weichselbaum on the drug trafficking charge. Trump characterize the defendant as ‘a credit to the community’ and described Weichselbaum as ‘conscientious, forthright and diligent’ in his dealings with the Trump Plaza and Trump’s Castle casinos. When asked about the letter under oath in a private 1990 meeting with New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement lawyers, Trump testified that he could not recall whether ‘he had written any letters of reference to the federal judge who sentenced Weichselbaum.’ Subsequently, the division obtained such a letter, and Trump acknowledged that it bore his signature. . . .”


FTR #932 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 1

Earlier in 2016, award-winning journalist David Cay Johnston published a very well-written and researched, yet relatively short and compact biography of Donald Trump–The Making of Donald Trump. For some weeks, we will be reading most of the book into the record, to provide people with a measure against which to evaluate not just “The Donald,” as his first wife Ivana called him, but our society, its institutions and its citizens. We can’t recommend strongly enough that listeners buy this book, read it and use whatever means available to spread the word about it.

This first installment of the series commences with the reading of a poem by Robinson Jeffers, “Be Angry at the Sun,” which encompasses Mr. Emory’s feelings about the recent election, as well as the people and institutions that have precipitated this event–one that figures to be devastating in its manifestations.

Following presentation of the Jeffers poem, we examine an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. As our reading of Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”

We begin by noting that Trump’s father networked with an organized crime figure named Willie Tomasello, anticipating Trump’s own use of organized crime figures to further his commercial undertakings. And Hillary Clinton is viewed as less honest than Trump!

Next, we note Trump’s rambling, ignorant and inarticulate response to a question from conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt about which element of the nuclear triad he felt was most important. (The nuclear triad consists of the three vehicles for delivering nuclear weapons: bombing aircraft, seaborne nuclear missiles–primarily submarine-launched weapons–and land-based nuclear missiles.) Trump clearly had no idea what the nuclear triad was, and couldn’t come close to doing justice to the topic. “. . . . Well, first of all, I think we need somebody absolutely that we can trust. . . the power is so massive that we can’t just leave areas that fifty years ago or seventy-five years ago we wouldn’t care [about]. It was hand-to-hand combat. . . I think–I think, for me, nuclear is just the power; the devastation is very important to me. . . . I think one of the most important things that we have to worry about is nuclear generally speaking. . . . The power of nuclear, the power of the weapons that we have today–and that is, by the way, the deal with Iran–the concept of it is so important that you have to make a good deal and what they should have done is that they should have doubled up and tripled up the sanctions. . . . ”

thinkbignkickassWe then note Trump’s fundamental ignorance of business theory, his pretenses to the contrary notwithstanding. ” ‘Are you familiar with the concept of net present value?’ lawyer Andrew Ceresney asked. [This is a basic tenet of business, as familiar to graduate students of business as 2 + 2, as Johnson says] ‘The concept of net present value to me,’ Trump replied, ‘would be the value of the land currently after debt. Well, to me, the word ‘net’ is an interesting word. It’s really–the word ‘value’ is the important word. If you have an asset that you can do other things with but you choose to do them–I haven’t chosen to do that. . . .”

Entering into the meat of Johnston’s formidable text, the broadcast highlights a rambling, vulgar, disorganized motivational talk he gave in Colorado, in the company of a “convicted felon and swindler” named Felix Sater. In addition to the inadequate nature of the presentation itself, the values Trump expressed are not to be overlooked.

Trump underscored how much he disrespected “losers” and his belief in vengeance. Of primary significance in this context is his anecdote about a former employee who was fired because she wouldn’t do something she felt was unethical.

Attacking actress/comedian Rosie O’Donnell, he highlighted his distaste for her physical appearance in crude, vulgar and fundamentally adolescent language.

Author Johnston notes that Trump stressed during his campaign that he was a devout Christian, and yet his belief in “vengeance uber alles” is in fundamental conflict with Biblical teaching.

In the next chapter of the book, David Cay Johnston illustrates how Trump practices what he preaches. When his nephew Fred Trump III filed suit after having been all but excluded from Fred Jr.’s will, Donald Trump saw to it that Fred’s son William, who had been borne with serious health problems, was prevented from obtaining badly needed medical care under the family medical program.

This placed young William’s life in jeopardy.

In the last excerpt read into the record in this broadcast, David Cay Johnston relates the genesis of Trump’s relationship with Senator Joe McCarthy’s right-hand man Roy Cohn. Having been sued by the Justice Department because of his discrimination against people of color when renting apartments in his properties, Trump turned to Cohn. It was the beginning of a long relationship between the long-time red-baiter and organized crime apologist and “The Donald.” Trump and Cohn lost the case.