Questions Arise Over Trump’s Relationship With Late John Gotti Associate


When Robert LiButti, an employee of John Gotti’s and a friend of Donald Trump’s, visited the casinos at Trump Plaza in New Jersey, women and people of color were removed from the room while he played, at his request.

The employees described to the Division of Gaming Enforcement what happened when they weren’t removed while LiButti was there.

“[LiButti] made it clear that ‘he did not want women, blacks or other minorities dealing or supervising his games,’ according to one filing by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. He referred to one Trump Plaza floor person as a ‘dumb c***’ and ‘dumb bitch,’ another as a ‘Jew broad’ and an African-American dealer as a ‘black bastard.’ Finding himself playing with an African-American at his craps table, LiButti shouted, ‘Shoot the f***ing dice. Shoot the f***ing dice like you’re f***ing some n*****,’ according to testimony in the case.”

When employees at the Trump Plaza filed discrimination suits, an investigation began into the relationship of Donald Trump with Robert LiButti, who was banned from the casinos in New Jersey because of his ties to John Gotti. Trump denied being familiar with LiButti, but LiButti’s daughter, Edith Creamer, says that Trump is lying.

“’He’s a liar,’ said Creamer. ‘Of course he knew him. I flew in the [Trump] helicopter with [Trump’s then wife] Ivana and the kids. My dad flew it up and down [to Atlantic City]. My 35th birthday party was at the Plaza and Donald was there. After the party, we went on his boat, his big yacht. I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me.'”

Trump denies ever knowingly having done business with a member of an organized crime unit, but allegations of business dealings with shady characters, which are always followed by Trump’s denial of knowing the mobster in question, have persisted for decades. Edith Creamer’s story, that the two were close friends, however, is corroborated in a couple of different ways.

John R. O’Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza casino, wrote  “Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump: His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall” in 1991. In that book, O’Donnell recounts stories of Trump’s dealings with a “world famous horse broker” who was “our most lucrative player.” In one of those stories:

“O’Donnell recounts a meeting between Trump and LiButti aboard Trump’s private helicopter, a Super Puma, in the spring of 1988. Trump, according to O’Donnell, agreed to pay $500,000 for a racehorse named Alibi after LiButti showed him color photos of the ‘luxurious brown colt’ and assured him he was going to be ‘another Secretariat.'”

Although it’s fairly clear that Trump and LiButti were friends as well as business associates, Trump responded to questions recently about this story with one of his typical answers.

“’During the years I very successfully ran the casino business, I knew many high rollers. I assume Mr. LiButti was one of them, but I don’t recognize the name.’”

The employees of Trump Plaza went on to see the company fined $200,000 for discrimination against them. The hotel’s lawyer, Brian Spector, attempted to argue against the decision but made a pretty weak argument.

“’Trump Plaza is being found in violation based only on an aura of discrimination,’ said Brian Spector, the lawyer for the Trump hotel. ‘Something may look like discrimination, feel like discrimination and even smell like discrimination, but you need discriminatory intent. It simply hasn’t been proven.’”

The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement did not agree.