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

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by ear­ly win­ter of 2016. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.) (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012.)

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [5].

making-of-trump [6]Intro­duc­tion: In the after­math of the ascen­sion of Don­ald Trump to the Pres­i­den­cy, we are doing some­thing unprece­dent­ed in the long his­to­ry of For The Record. 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 [7] (Melville House [HC]; copy­right 2016 by David Cay John­ston; ISBN 978–1‑61219–632‑9.)

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.)

Although we orig­i­nal­ly planned to read the whole book into the record, the accel­er­a­tion of events demands cov­er­age and we will be turn­ing to as much of those devel­op­ments as we can high­light, under the cir­cum­stances.

The broad­cast begins with anoth­er read­ing of the poem Be Angry at the Sun by Robin­son Jef­fers.

“Be Angry at the Sun” by Robin­son Jef­fers

That pub­lic men pub­lish false­hoods
Is noth­ing new. That Amer­i­ca must accept
Like the his­tor­i­cal republics cor­rup­tion and empire
Has been known for years.

Be angry at the sun for set­ting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these peo­ple, those war­riors.
This repub­lic, Europe, Asia.

Observe them ges­tic­u­lat­ing,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the pas­sion­ate
Man plays his part; the cold pas­sion for truth
Hunts in no pack.

You are not Cat­ul­lus, you know,
To lam­poon these crude sketch­es of Cae­sar. You are far
From Dan­te’s feet, but even far­ther from his dirty
Polit­i­cal hatreds.

Let boys want plea­sure, and men
Strug­gle for pow­er, and women per­haps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.

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 [8] 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 [9] 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 [10] that 46 per­cent of like­ly vot­ers believe he is the more hon­est and trust­wor­thy can­di­date, while 38 per­cent believed it was Hillary Clin­ton [11]. 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 Sater, 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 Sater 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.