BBC Two’s Newsnight programme carried this item last Friday evening on Donald Trump’s business dealings with mob figures in New York, in particular his relationship with the late Mafia boss, ‘Fat’ Tony Salerno.
Salerno was head of the Genovese crime family and also controlled the concrete business in New York back in the day. When Donald Trump built Trump Tower on 5th Avenue it was, unusually, constructed entirely of concrete which he bought from Salerno’s firm, S&A Concrete.
The deal was worth millions to Salerno. Other Trump buildings also used concrete bought from the Genovese family boss. The question is, what did Trump receive in return? Was the absence of labour troubles during the construction of Trump Tower, despite the employment of a non-union, largely illegal immigrant Polish workforce just a coincidence?
Newsnight also highlighted Trump’s relationship with Felix Slater, a Wall Street broker who served time for stabbing a fellow banker in a bar. After his release from jail Slater orchestrated a financial fraud which involved mobsters as co-conspirators. He subsequently made a deal with the authorities and informed on his fellow fraudsters.
Trump was shown on Newsnight disavowing Slater even though documentary evidence showed that Slater used a Trump email address, described himself as a ‘senior adviser’ to Trump on his business card and had an office in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.
Plaudits to the BBC for screening this item. Perhaps it will encourage their counterparts in the U.S. to follow suit.
Trump’s alleged Mob links were covered by many media outlets when he first announced his plans to run for the GOP nomination back last summer. That was when he was considered an outsider, even a joke candidate who was primarily interested in the publicity the race could bring him.
But since he became the front runner the media in the U.S. has largely gone silent on the story. Only one fellow Republican candidate, Ted Cruz has raised the issue.
Here is the link to the BBC Newsnight item. Readers who are restricted from receiving BBC programmes can download Hola, see below. Search on Hola for BBC Newsnight 4/3/2016, remembering that British style places the day first, followed by the month so March 4th reads 4/3.