Investigative journalist Tom Robbins discusses Trump’s history of close relationships with organized crime figures in the United States.
As Donald Trump virtually clinches the Republican presidential nomination after Senator Ted Cruz suspends his campaign following a devastating defeat in the Indiana primary, we are joined by Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, who has reported on Trump’s history of close relationships with organized crime figures in the United States. We examine some of the characters and connections Robbins helped expose as a reporter who covered politics, labor and organized crime for the Daily News and The Village Voice from 1985 to 2011. His recent article for The Marshall Project is "Trump and the Mob." Robbins also critiques the media’s coverage of Trump on the campaign trail.…
TOM ROBBINS: All right. Good morning. Who would have thunk it? Right? I mean, you have the slickest con man out of New York City, and has just been basically made the Republican nominee by the Hoosiers of Middle America. It’s an astonishing thing. And I guess it goes to show that the Republicans have just as little idea as to who their base is as the Democrats.…
TOM ROBBINS: Well, you know, it’s interesting to hear Republicans talk about how scared they are of Trump being the candidate. I find that much more telling than when Democrats talk about, oh, he’s unpopular among women, he’s unpopular among minorities. You know, there’s a certain extent, I feel, the Democrats are whistling past the graveyard, that they don’t recognize the fact that American voters are scared, they’re anxious, they’re worried. They’ve been fed pablum and bromides about jobs that disappeared. Here’s a fellow who is telling them, "I can fix that. And it was wrong, and it shouldn’t have happened to you." And he comes across as a strongman. And there is a section of the electorate that responds to that….
TOM ROBBINS: You know, Hillary Clinton, at her best, is a tremendous candidate. When Hillary Clinton lets her guard down and she speaks out, I think she resonates with people. And people feel a pride of the fact that, you know, it looks like there could for the first time be a woman who would be the candidate of a major party. And I think that that’s something that has the potential to really rally enormous numbers of voters. Hillary Clinton, at her worst, which is something unfortunately we see a lot of, is someone who is paranoid and who is fearful and who is distrustful. And as a result, voters see her that way. And I think she has the capability of being at her best. But she’s a flawed candidate. She carries a lot of baggage. And I think that Donald Trump is somebody who is incredibly good at skewing his rivals and finding the soft spot. And she’s got a lot of soft spots.AlterNet
Donald Trump Set to Be GOP Nominee Despite Links to Organized Crime
Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!
In early March, Politico Magazine convened these five Trumpologists: Barrett, a longtime Village Voice reporter; Blair, a bestselling author; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist D’Antonio; Hurt, an author and videographer; and O’Brien, a writer and editor at Bloomberg. They gathered, together for the first time, for a discussion at Trump Grill, a restaurant in the atrium of Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan—where Trump lives and his company is based. Moderated by Politico Editor Susan Glasser and senior writer Michael Kruse and presented in edited form below, the conversation ranged from the emotional wounds that drive Trump to the roots of his demagoguery to his alleged ties to the mob. The rest of the media might still be struggling to explain Trump’s political rise, but these five writers saw his ambition—and ego—from the very early days. Here’s how Trump the candidate came to be.Politico
Trumpology: A Master Class