In the midst of the ongoing flurry of controversial policy moves from the Trump administration, we’ve got President Donald Trump’s racism to deal with. In conventional Trump-ian fashion, though, he routinely claims that he’s not racist at all, asserting to a reporter at an abruptly called Wednesday press conference that he’s “never used racist remarks.”
Former Trump casino boss Jack O’Donnell, though, begs to differ. In response to the president’s latest claims that he’s not racist, he penned a column for POLITICO outlining the case against that claim. He’s one of a number of associates from Trump’s past to emerge with claims that behind-the-scenes, Trump is as much of a vitriol spewing racist as one might expect — and perhaps even more so.
O’Donnell’s experience with Trump unfolded during the close of his casino empire, towards the end of the 1980s and very beginning of the 1990s.
In his POLITICO column, he re-upped a particularly disturbing anecdote that he’s also covered in a past book called Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall.
In 1988, he says, while O’Donnell served as president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, the eventual U.S. president had him over for lunch in New York.
Their conversations included scrutiny of a particular black senior manager working in the Trump Organization.
‘Isn’t it funny, I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day… Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else: I think the guy is lazy, and it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is. I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.’
O’Donnell says that Trump pressed him to agree, but he did not.
The incident is hardly alone in O’Donnell’s recollection, despite the fact that it’s not as though he was by Trump’s side for decades. The racism is just that constant.
On another occasion, he lost it over a limousine driver appearing to pick him up in gray shoes and looking like a “fucking Puerto Rican.” On yet another occasion, O’Donnell says that Trump complained that “It’s looking a little dark in here” when there were some black customers in the casino.
The stories fit into a broader narrative that’s been supported by the president’s own remarks.
He first rose to national prominence in the 2016 presidential race, for instance, via claiming that Mexican immigrants harbor large numbers of criminals, and he’s held to that line ever since, still pushing for a literal wall between the United States and Mexico. He’s targeted other minorities, like Muslims in the United States and immigrants who are already here, with similar measures.
He’s expected to lead the entirety of the United States — and claims he’s keen on doing just that — but refuses, in many cases, to offer respect to individuals who aren’t straight white males.
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