President Donald Trump successfully conned millions of Americans into voting him into the White House while toting baggage including years of association with key figures in organized crime. Among other ties, in the 1980s, Genovese crime family boss “Fat Tony” Salerno rigged construction bids that kept work going at places including none other than Manhattan’s Trump Tower when elsewhere, workers went on strike. Salerno faced criminal charges over that scheme that were handed down by none other than Rudy Giuliani, who at the time was a federal prosecutor and now serves as the president’s personal lawyer and is himself under federal investigation for possible crimes including secret advocacy for foreigners.
The mobsters — who include others besides Salerno — who circulated around Trump figure in the story of the recent Martin Scorsese movie The Irishman, starring the ironically avidly anti-Trump Robert De Niro, among others.
Rolling Stone explains:
‘Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Trump’s buildings and his casinos attracted underworld figures like “Fat Tony” Salerno, the Fedora-wearing, cigar-chomping boss of the Genovese crime family. Salerno, who’s portrayed in the film by Domenick Lombardozzi, supplied the fast-drying concrete that built Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Salerno also controlled the local concrete workers union, and when a strike shut down construction in Manhattan in 1982, the one of the few buildings that wasn’t affected was Trump Tower.’
Other deals besides Salerno’s involvement in Trump properties that involved the eventual president include the sale of land by Philadelphia mob boss Philip Testa’s son to Trump that became a casino parking lot. There’s also the case of an attempt by associates of Testa’s successor, Nicodemus “Little Nicky” Scarfo, to lease Trump more land for his New Jersey casino, but New Jersey authorities kept that deal from going through.
Despite a claim to the contrary from the late journalist Wayne Barrett, Trump has claimed that he never actually met Salerno personally — but the president is not exactly a trustworthy source. While in office as president, he’s already lied upwards of 13,000 times and counting, and in the same deposition in which he claimed he hadn’t met Salerno, he claimed that he didn’t know that Trump lawyer Roy Cohn had worked for Salerno — although that detail was literally in Cohn’s then-recent obituary. Cohn also reportedly introduced Trump’s eventual longtime associate Roger Stone to Salerno. Stone was recently declared guilty of an array of federal criminal charges centering on an obstruction of justice scheme.
While in office, Trump has often behaved like he’s a wannabe mob boss. The list of figures who he’s issued only barely veiled threats against goes on and on, just like his personal Twitter feed does. Just this past week, in an outrageous spectacle, he claimed that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was mentally deranged during a meltdown at the 70th anniversary NATO summit.
No matter his most fervent protestations, accountability is catching up with Trump. Just this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly announced that the House would be moving forward with formal articles of impeachment against the president.