Trump Runs the WH Like He’s Tony Soprano

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Photo by Diariocritico de Venezuela

Former attorney Michael Cohen’s devastating testimony against President Donald Trump has opened a can of worms exposing his long history of associating with criminals.

However, if you thought Cohen’s testimony was explosive, wait until you hear from Trump associate Felix Sater. Sater is a mob-connected felon who did time in jail for breaking a wine glass in a victim’s face during a bar fight. He was also involved in a $40M stock market fraud orchestrated by the Russian mob. He also has ties to Russia and has worked as an undercover operative for both the FBI and the CIA. Sater was the linchpin in connecting Trump with Putin and other Russian oligarchs in his bid to build Trump Tower Moscow.

But Trump’s mob ties go all the way back to the days when he actually constructed buildings. He is reputed to have mob ties in New York and Atlantic City. Trump’s mentor, Roy Cohn, was also a mob lawyer. This is discussed in a Politico article.

“Beginning three years earlier, he’d hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony ‘Fat Tony’ Salerno and Paul Castellano,” said David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered Trump for more than 30 years.

Additionally, Russian organized crime figures have been buying his high-price condos for years. In an interview, on “Background Briefing,” New York Times finance editor David Enrich claimed Trump used to regularly participate in high-stakes gambling parties with Russian mobsters. Enrich also said they used to let him win and ply him with prostitutes.

Several news reports have also revealed Matthew Calamari, a hulking vice president with the Trump organization, who started off as Trump’s bodyguard. Trump hired Calamari after he saw him beating up an unruly fan at a tennis game.

According to The Washington Post, Calamari once said he would “kill for Trump.” Several news reports say Calamari resembles the man who threatened porn star Stormy Daniels when she about to go public her affair with Trump.

I’ve learned much of Trump’s criminal background after he got elected. But soon after he entered the White House, I began to see signs of his mob-like tendencies. When former FBI James Comey recounted his dinner meeting with Trump, where he hinted that he should go easy on Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, it sounded like something straight out of “The Sopranos.”

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe also stated that his interactions with the Trump administration reminded him of Russian gangsters he’d investigated.

Even the way Trump has structured the White House is reminiscent of a Mafia family. He’s hired his family members because they’re less likely to turn on him. He also uses the term “rat” which is straight out of a mob movie. In Trump’s White House, once you’re in the family, your good. You don’t have to show any competence or know what the hell you’re doing.

A good example of this is seen in Lynne Patton, who filled the role of Black Best Friend at the Cohen hearing. Patton previously worked for Eric Trump’s foundation and also planned his wedding. (The foundation has been accused of fraud and mismanagement, according to Forbes.) She’s a law school dropout who was hired as director of Public Liaison for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, even though she has no experience in housing. Patton falsely claimed she graduated from Yale, but has since deleted that from her resume. She makes more than $160,000 per year, according to The Washington Post.

Being an associate of the Trump crime family, Patton is always on the make. The Root recently revealed she tried to use her Washington experience to get a role on “The Real Housewives of D.C,” a reality TV show. She also skipped a mandatory meeting to attend the Cohen hearing where she said nothing.

Trump’s literal rogue’s gallery of thugs makes me want to scream, “Why wasn’t this revealed in 2016?” The lack of in-depth reporting is staggering. This is journalistic malpractice on a grand scale. The media failed to do its job and properly investigate Trump and his criminal ties. Now we have a criminal in the White House who’s behaving like he’s the Don of Washington, D.C.!

Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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