Last week’s state of the union speech was full of lies. But with Nancy Pelosi’s return to the Speaker of the House role, as she stood behind him I couldn’t help but notice the necklace of those two little red balls on a strand of blue ones….
A USA TODAY NETWORK investigation has found hundreds of cases in which Donald Trump and his businesses are accused of failing to pay people for their work. USA TODAY
Donald Trump casts himself as a protector of workers and jobs, but a USA TODAY NETWORK investigation found hundreds of people – carpenters, dishwashers, painters, even his own lawyers – who say he didn’t pay them for their work.
During the Atlantic City casino boom in the 1980s, Philadelphia cabinet-builder Edward Friel Jr. landed a $400,000 contract to build the bases for slot machines, registration desks, bars and other cabinets at Harrah’s at Trump Plaza.
The family cabinetry business, founded in the 1940s by Edward’s father, finished its work in 1984 and submitted its final bill to the general contractor for the Trump Organization, the resort’s builder.
Edward’s son, Paul, who was the firm’s accountant, still remembers the amount of that bill more than 30 years later: $83,600. The reason: the money never came. “That began the demise of the Edward J. Friel Company… which has been around since my grandfather,” he said.
Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.
At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.
Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.
Exclusive: Trump’s 3,500 lawsuits unprecedented for a presidential nominee
In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.
“Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late. I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely. That’s what the country should be doing.”
The actions in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether.
Trump and his daughter Ivanka, in an interview with USA TODAY, shrugged off the lawsuits and other claims of non-payment. If a company or worker he hires isn’t paid fully, the Trumps said, it’s because The Trump Organization was unhappy with the work.
“Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late. I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely,” Trump said. “That’s what the country should be doing.”
To be sure, Trump and his companies have prevailed in many legal disputes over missing payments, or reached settlements that cloud the terms reached by the parties.
However, the consistent circumstances laid out in those lawsuits and other non-payment claims raise questions about Trump’s judgment as a businessman, and as a potential commander in chief. The number of companies and others alleging he hasn’t paid suggests that either his companies have a poor track record hiring workers and assessing contractors, or that Trump businesses renege on contracts, refuse to pay, or consistently attempt to change payment terms after work is complete as is alleged in dozens of court cases.
In the interview, Trump repeatedly said the cases were “a long time ago.” However, even as he campaigns for the presidency, new cases are continuing. Just last month, Trump Miami Resort Management LLC settled with 48 servers at his Miami golf resort over failing to pay overtime for a special event. The settlements averaged about $800 for each worker and as high as $3,000 for one, according to court records. Some workers put in 20-hour days over the 10-day Passover event at Trump National Doral Miami, the lawsuit contends. Trump’s team initially argued a contractor hired the workers, and he wasn’t responsible, and counter-sued the contractor demanding payment.
“Trump could have settled it right off the bat, but they wanted to fight it out, that’s their M.O.” said Rod Hannah, of Plantation, Fla., the lawyer who represented the workers, who he said are forbidden from talking about the case in public. “They’re known for their aggressiveness, and if you have the money, why not?”
Similar cases have cropped up with Trump’s facilities in California and New York, where hourly workers, bartenders and wait staff have sued with a range of allegations from not letting workers take breaks to not passing along tips to servers. Trump’s company settled the California case, and the New York case is pending.
“Trump’s trial attorneys visibly winced, began breathing heavily, and attempted to make eye contact with the witness.”
Ruling by Miami Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Cueto
Trump’s Doral golf resort also has been embroiled in recent non-payment claims by two different paint firms, with one case settled and the other pending. Last month, his company’s refusal to pay one Florida painter more than $30,000 for work at Doral led the judge in the case to order foreclosure of the resort if the contractor isn’t paid.
Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot, in South Florida, has been waiting more than two years to get paid for his work at the Doral. The Paint Spot first filed a lien against Trump’s course, then filed a lawsuit asking a Florida judge to intervene.
In courtroom testimony, the manager of the general contractor for the Doral renovation admitted that a decision was made not to pay The Paint Spot because Trump “already paid enough.” As the construction manager spoke, “Trump’s trial attorneys visibly winced, began breathing heavily, and attempted to make eye contact” with the witness, the judge noted in his ruling.
That, and other evidence, convinced the judge The Paint Spot’s claim was credible. He ordered last month that the Doral resort be foreclosed on, sold, and the proceeds used to pay Enriquez the money he was owed. Trump’s attorneys have since filed a motion to delay the sale, and the contest continues.
Enriquez still hasn’t been paid.
Unpaid hourly workers
Trump frequently boasts that he will bring jobs back to America, including Tuesday in a primary-election night victory speech at his golf club in suburban New York City. “No matter who you are, we’re going to protect your job,” Trump said Tuesday. “Because let me tell you, our jobs are being stripped from our country like we’re babies.”
But the lawsuits show Trump’s organization wages Goliath vs David legal battles over small amounts of money that are negligible to the billionaire and his executives — but devastating to his much-smaller foes.
In 2007, for instance, dishwasher Guy Dorcinvil filed a federal lawsuit against Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach, Fla., alleging the club failed to pay time-and-a-half for overtime he worked over three years and the company failed to keep proper time records for employees.
Aerial view of Mar-a-Lago, the oceanfront estate of
Aerial view of Mar-a-Lago, the oceanfront estate of Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 22, 2005. (Photo: New York Daily News via Getty Images)
Mar-a-Lago LLC agreed to pay Dorcinvil $7,500 to settle the case in 2008. The terms of the settlement agreement includes a standard statement that Mar-a-Lago does not admit fault and forbids Dorcinvil or his lawyers from talking about the case, according to court records.
Developers with histories of not paying contractors are a very small minority of the industry, said Colette Nelson, chief advocacy officer of the American Subcontractors Association. But late or missing payments can be devastating for small businesses and their employees.
“Real estate is a tough and aggressive business, but most business people don’t set out to make their money by breaking the companies that they do business with,” she said, stressing she couldn’t speak directly to the specifics of cases in Trump’s record. “But there are a few.”
In the interview, Trump said that complaints represent a tiny fraction of his business empire and dealings with contractors and employees, insisting all are paid fairly. “We pay everybody what they’re supposed to be paid, and we pay everybody on time,” he said. “And we employ thousands and thousands of people. OK?”
The slot-machine cabinets
Donald Trump, right, waits with his brother Robert
Donald Trump, right, waits with his brother Robert for the start of a Casino Control Commission meeting in Atlantic City on March 29, 1990. Trump was seeking final approval for the Taj Mahal Casino Resort, one of the world’s largest casino complexes. (Photo: AP)
Despite the Trumps’ assertion that their companies only refuse payment to contractors “when somebody does a bad job,” he has sometimes offered to hire those same contractors again. It’s a puzzling turn of events, since most people who have a poor experience with a contractor, and who refuse to pay and even fight the contractor in court, aren’t likely to offer to rehire them.
Nevertheless, such was the case for the Friels. After submitting the final bill for the Plaza casino cabinet-building in 1984, Paul Friel said he got a call asking that his father, Edward, come to the Trump family’s offices at the casino for a meeting. There Edward, and some other contractors, were called in one by one to meet with Donald Trump and his brother, Robert Trump.
“He sat in a room with nine guys,” Paul Friel said. “We found out some of them were carpet guys. Some of them were glass guys. Plumbers. You name it.”
In the meeting, Donald Trump told his father that the company’s work was inferior, Friel said, even though the general contractor on the casino had approved it. The bottom line, Trump told Edward Friel, was the company wouldn’t get the final payment. Then, Friel said Trump added something that struck the family as bizarre. Trump told his dad that he could work on other Trump projects in the future.
“We have hundreds of millions of dollars of construction projects underway. And we have, for the most part, exceptional contractors on them who get paid, and get paid quickly. But it would be irresponsible if my father paid contractors who did lousy work. And he doesn’t do that.”
Ivanka Trump, Executive Vice President of The Trump Organization
“Wait a minute,” Paul Friel said, recalling his family’s reaction to his dad’s account of the meeting. “Why would the Trump family want a company who they say their work is inferior to work for them in the future?”
Asked about the meeting this week, Trump said, “Was the work bad? Was it bad work?” And, then, after being told that the general contractor had approved it, Trump added, “Well, see here’s the thing. You’re talking about, what, 30 years ago?”
Ivanka Trump added that any number of disputes over late or deficient payments that were found over the past few decades pale in comparison to the thousands of checks Trump companies cut each month.
“We have hundreds of millions of dollars of construction projects underway. And we have, for the most part, exceptional contractors on them who get paid, and get paid quickly,” she said, adding that she doubted any contractor complaining in court or in the press would admit they delivered substandard work. “But it would be irresponsible if my father paid contractors who did lousy work. And he doesn’t do that.”
But, the Friels’ story is similar to experiences of hundreds of other contractors over the casino-boom decade in Atlantic City. Legal records, New Jersey Casino Control Commission records and contemporaneous local newspaper stories recounted time and again tales about the Trumps paying late or renegotiating deals for dimes on the dollar.
Donald Trump stands next to a genie lamp as the lights
Donald Trump stands next to a genie lamp as the lights of his Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort light up the evening sky marking the grand opening of the venture in Atlantic City on April 5, 1990. (Photo: Mike Derer, AP)
A half-decade after the Friels’ encounter, in 1990, as Trump neared the opening of his third Atlantic City casino, he was once again attempting to pay contractors less than he owed. In casino commission records of an audit, it was revealed that Trump’s companies owed a total of $69.5 million to 253 subcontractors on the Taj Mahal project. Some already had sued Trump, the state audit said; others were negotiating with Trump to try to recover what they could. The companies and their hundreds of workers had installed walls, chandeliers, plumbing, lighting and even the casino’s trademark minarets.
One of the builders was Marty Rosenberg, vice president of Atlantic Plate Glass Co., who said he was owed about $1.5 million for work at the Taj Mahal. When it became clear Trump was not going to pay in full, Rosenberg took on an informal leadership role, representing about 100 to 150 contractors in negotiations with Trump.
Rosenberg’s mission: with Trump offering as little as 30 cents on the dollar to some of the contractors, Rosenberg wanted to get as much as he could for the small businesses, most staffed by younger tradesmen with modest incomes and often families to support.
“Yes, there were a lot of other companies,” he said of those Trump left waiting to get paid. “Yes, some did not survive.”
Rosenberg said his company was among the lucky ones. He had to delay paying his own suppliers to the project. The negotiations led to him eventually getting about 70 cents on the dollar for his work, and he was able to pay all of his suppliers in full.
Unpaid based on ‘whimsy’
The analysis of Trump lawsuits also found that professionals, such as real estate agents and lawyers, say he’s refused to pay them sizable sums of money. Those cases show that even some loyal employees, those selling his properties and fighting for him in court, are only with him until they’re not.
Real estate broker Rana Williams, who said she had sold hundreds of millions of dollars in Manhattan property for Trump International Realty over more than two decades with the company, sued in 2013 alleging Trump shorted her $735,212 in commissions on deals she brokered from 2009 to 2012. Williams, who managed as many as 16 other sales agents for Trump, said the tycoon and his senior deputies decided to pay her less than her contracted commission rate “based on nothing more than whimsy.”
Trump and Williams settled their case in 2015, and the terms of the deal are confidential, as is the case in dozens of other settlements between plaintiffs and Trump companies.
However, Williams’ 2014 deposition in the case is not sealed. In her sworn testimony, Williams said the 2013 commission shortage wasn’t the only one, and neither was she the only person who didn’t get fully paid. “There were instances where a sizable commission would come in and we would be waiting for payment and it wouldn’t come,” she testified. “That was both for myself and for some of the agents.”
Another broker, Jennifer McGovern, filed a similar lawsuit against the now-defunct Trump Mortgage LLC in 2007, citing a six-figure commission on real-estate sales that she said went unpaid. A judge issued a judgment ordering Trump Mortgage to pay McGovern $298,274.
Turning the tables on lawyers
Even Trump’s own attorneys, on several occasions, sued him over claims of unpaid bills.
One law firm that fought contractors over payments and other issues for Trump — New York City’s Morrison Cohen LLP — ended up on the other side of a similar battle with the mogul in 2008. Trump didn’t like that its lawyers were using his name in press releases touting its representation of Trump in a lawsuit against a construction contractor that Trump claimed overcharged him for work on a luxury golf club.
As Trump now turned his ire on his former lawyers, however, Morrison Cohen counter-sued. In court records, the law firm alleged Trump didn’t pay nearly a half million dollars in legal fees. Trump and his ex-lawyers settled their disputes out of court, confidentially, in 2009.
In 2012, Virginia-based law firm Cook, Heyward, Lee, Hopper & Feehan filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization for $94,511 for legal fees and costs. The case was eventually settled out of court. But as the case unfolded, court records detail how Trump’s senior deputies attacked the attorneys’ quality of work in the local and trade press, leading the firm to make claims of defamation that a judge ultimately rejected on free speech grounds.
‘Tons of these stories out there’
Trump claims in his presidential personal financial disclosure to be worth $10 billion as a result of his business acumen. Many of the small contractors and individuals who weren’t paid by him haven’t been as fortunate.
Edward Friel, left, and his wife, owned a family cabinetry
Edward Friel, left, and his wife, owned a family cabinetry business that says it was badly harmed by non-payment on a big contract at one of Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casinos. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Friel family)
Edward Friel, of the Philadelphia cabinetry company allegedly shortchanged for the casino work, hired a lawyer to sue for the money, said his son, Paul Friel. But the attorney advised him that the Trumps would drag the case out in court and legal fees would exceed what they’d recover.
The unpaid bill took a huge chunk out of the bottom line of the company that Edward ran to take care of his wife and five kids. “The worst part wasn’t dealing with the Trumps,” Paul Friel said. After standing up to Trump, Friel said the family struggled to get other casino work in Atlantic City. “There’s tons of these stories out there,” he said.
The Edward J. Friel Co. filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 5, 1989.
Says the founder’s grandson: “Trump hits everybody.”
Contributing: John Kelly, Nick Penzenstadler, Karen Yi, David McKay Wilson
Donald Trump is now the Republican nominee….We’ve been writing about him for a year….it’s a combination of the Emperors New Clothes-The Trojan Horse – and Adolph Hitler’s rise…Totally insane……Some in the media compare him to a “Hitler” and that’s completely unfair. But the words that he uses, and the repeated rhetoric for a man running for one of the most powerful positions in the world? Don’t let him near the presidency and the secret “nuclear” codes….It would be a lot more than 6 million gone…..
1. Insulting Women on a daily basis….
(CNN)—A day after Donald Trump declared that Heidi Klum is no longer a “10,” the iconic supermodel fired back at the Republican presidential candidate in a video posted on Twitter.
In the 12-second video, Klum is at a photo shoot, wearing a white tee with the number 10 on it, when a man wearing a Donald Trump mask sneaks up behind her and snatches the number 10 tag off her shirt, revealing a “9.99.”
2. Bernie Sanders: Donald Trump Is a National Embarrassment…In an interview with the New York Times published on Monday, Bernie Sanders offered his views on the always entertaining presidential campaign of Donald Trump. And he didn’t mince words. When asked what he thought of the Republican front-runner’s continued surge in the polls, Sanders responded, “Not much,” and hit back at Trump’s racist rhetoric.
“I think Donald Trump’s views on immigration and his slurring of the Latino community is not something that should be going on in the year 2015,” Sanders said. “And it’s to me an embarrassment for our country.”
Sanders’ comments come on the heels of several recent op-ed’s attempting to draw similarities between Trump’s and Sanders’ policy proposals, specifically on immigration. Judging from Sanders’ latest remarks, however, we’re guessing the Vermont senator isn’t exactly thrilled to be compared with the inflammatory real estate mogul.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Under the bright lights on Las Vegas Boulevard—“The Strip”—2016 Republican juggernauts Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
and real estate mogul Donald Trump will face off on Saturday at the Planet Hollywood Casino, Hotel and conference center.
The made-for-show-business showdown between the rising star of the Washington, D.C. GOP establishment and the controversial populist insurgent marks what might be the biggest ideological rivalry inside the Republican Party in the 2016 cycle. Trump, a bombastic flamethrower, has hammered Rubio-style Republicans for their support for amnesty for illegal aliens, which would hurt unemployed and struggling Americans. Rubio and his allies in the establishment of the party, on the other hand, have argued that Trump’s harsh rhetoric is not good for the Republican Party.
About 2,000 grassroots activists—many of whom have never before been involved in politics—are here at the conference for this clash of ideas. In addition to Trump and Rubio, more conservative and libertarian leaders like filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin, Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore, and many more are descending on Vegas to frame the 2016 discussion ahead of what’s sure to be a brutal battle for this key early state in the 2016 GOP nominating process.
“I think a lot of people are realizing that it isn’t just conservatism that hangs in the balance, or the Reagan legacy or the Reagan era, it’s really the American dream itself—after eight years of Obama,” D’Souza, also a bestselling author, told Breitbart News in an interview.
If we’re looking toward eight years of Hillary, that’s enough time to remake America. When Obama said he was going to do it, most people didn’t think he was going to, didn’t take him seriously or didn’t know what he meant. I think we now do know what he means and we do know the direction things are going and so we now all have to do a little more because what America has meant is itself at stake.
West told Breitbart News that he believes the high grassroots energy levels here are a sign that “principles are starting to matter over politics.”
“People want the right type of solutions,” West, also now the President and CEO at the National Center for Policy Analysis, said. “They want the solutions that are based upon the founding documents of this Constitutional Republic. Conservatism has always been what’s best for this great nation. We just celebrated 239 years of independence and a lot of people want to make sure we have another 239. So I’m just thrilled to be here. What a great scene, what a great atmosphere already.”
Rubio and Trump represent two fundamentally different sides of the Republican Party. Rubio, like his mentor former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—who he’s vying against to be the GOP establishment pick in the 2016 primaries—tends to bend at the will of the donor class. While his campaign has thus far not released last quarter’s fundraising totals, it’s widely expected Rubio’s numbers will heavily rely not on grassroots money but on cash he’s obtained from various high-dollar donors including billionaire auto salesman Norman Braman.
“As Mr. Rubio has ascended in the ranks of Republican politics, Mr. Braman has emerged as a remarkable and unique patron,” the New York Times’ Michael Barbaro and Steve Eder wrote back in May. “He has bankrolled Mr. Rubio’s campaigns. He has financed Mr. Rubio’s legislative agenda. And, at the same time, he has subsidized Mr. Rubio’s personal finances, as the rising politician and his wife grappled with heavy debt and big swings in their income.”
On the airwaves here on both television and radio, Rubio’s allies are plastering Nevadans with advertisements perhaps financed by Braman and others like Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who Politico reported is backing Rubio.
Writing that Rubio “now has another billionaire in his corner” back in May, Politico noted that Ellison—who’s worth about $54 billion—was holding a fundraiser for Rubio.
On Fox News, an advertisement from a pro-Rubio nonprofit group Conservative Solutions Project highlighting Rubio’s opposition to Obama’s nuclear arms deal with Iran runs nonstop in Nevada right now.
“It’s on all the time,” one local activist said.
“A nonprofit created by allies of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is preparing to launch a more than $1 million+ advertising campaign highlighting the presidential candidate’s resistance to an emerging Iranian nuclear deal, marking its first commercials since Rubio launched his campaign in April,” the Washington Post reported in late June. “The ad campaign, which will include cable TV, radio and online components, will run at a time when the Senate is preparing to focus on Iran as the deadline for securing a deal approaches.”
That Super PAC which is blanketing Nevada airwaves raked in $16 million last quarter, Politico reported–and billionaires Braman and Ellison aren’t even done giving to it yet.
Rubio’s dealing with donors isn’t a one-way street—he and Bush are their favorite candidates for a reason. Both would be willing to do the donor class’ bidding if elected to office. There’s perhaps no issue that better illustrates their dependence on donors—and that vicious circle of donors giving money then politicians acting on the donors’ behalf—than immigration. Both Rubio and Bush support full blown amnesty for illegal aliens.
As Rubio vies for support from another billionaire, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, he’s signed on to cosponsor a major piece of legislation that would substantially benefit Adelson’s bottom line.
“The Florida senator, who has relentlessly sought the billionaire casino mogul’s backing for 2016, co-sponsored a bill yesterday afternoon to ban online gaming,” the Washington Post reported on June 25. “It is not only Adelson’s top legislative priority, it could significantly boost his company’s bottom line.”
Rubio’s team has insisted that he’s signed onto the Adelson-backed bill because he has a moral opposition to gambling all around—even though he’s not opposed to allowing gaming to continue in Las Vegas, where it benefits the billionaire whose support he desires.
“Marco has opposed expanding gambling in FL, but never criticized the industry in Las Vegas,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant tweeted at Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston.
Conant was actually not telling the truth, something he’s done many times on immigration but now is doing with regard to gambling.
“Nevada is the gambling mecca of the United States and it has a higher unemployment rate [and] their housing market is upside down,” Rubio himself said back in 2011, as reported by the Post. “They are hurting in Nevada.”
That’s a clear criticism of gambling in Nevada, and the hypocrisy prompted Ralston to slam Rubio as “needle-threading”—not take a clear position and attempt to appease everyone, something he’s done frequently on most issues—writing that Rubio and his team have displayed “sensitivity” on this.
“I am sure his positions have not gone unnoticed by the Strip, although Adelson, my sources tell me, thinks the Florida senator has potential,” Ralston wrote.
Trump, on the other hand, has seen the entire permanent political class—including Rubio and Bush—hammering him for daring to speak out against amnesty and about the surging illegal alien crime wave.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said in his presidential campaign announcement speech. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems… they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
West, the former Florida congressman and conservative icon, told Breitbart News that Trump is telling the truth.
“I think that’s why you see so many people here at Freedom Fest, for national sovereignty,” West said in his interview.
The Founding Fathers in the Constitution, Article I Section 8—repel invasion—so when people are coming across your border uninvited, they are here illegally. The fact that we have states—11 states, and over 200 cities—that say we’re going to allow these people to be here and provide them sanctuary, and we’re not going to cooperate with the federal government, they’re spitting in the eye of the rule of law. It’s no different than providing a sanctuary to Islamic terrorists if you ask me and this is having gross ramifications for the American people.
West noted that the Obama administration has released from federal penitentiaries 3,700 “criminal illegal aliens” with a “threat level one.”
I think we’re looking for people who are going to solve this crisis with our border and not a single city that has declared itself to be a sanctuary state or city should be getting federal funding,” West said, before adding: “Obviously, he [Trump] is right because it just played out in San Francisco and many other cities. He didn’t say it as articulately as the political class likes to have it but there is a problem—one side wants to have a new voter base. And you have another side that wants to have cheap labor. In the middle, caught between this, is the hardworking everyday American citizen. I think Donald Trump somehow has channeled their anger and their angst about this issue and get this: He is number two in the polls. You can say whatever you want but somehow he has tapped into a very mainstream American sentiment.
That’s why Moore, the Heritage economist and former Wall Street Journal editorial page editor—who’s here to debate liberal economist Paul Krugman—thinks Trump is rocketing up in the polls.
“I think there is a backlash against the corruption, the cronyism, and the incompetence of government in Washington—at least in the United States,” Moore said in an interview here Wednesday evening.
The reason you’re seeing for example Donald Trump gain momentum—and I disagree with at least half of the things Donald Trump says—but he has tapped into something. Washington doesn’t work. This idea of bringing in a businessman who can fix things is very appropriate and very attractive to people. Republicans have to run against the corruption of Washington and say none of the things Washington does works. They can’t deliver the mail, they can’t run a balanced budget, they can’t run a pension program, they can’t make trains on time. School systems are a disaster. Government isn’t working and it’s creating a disaster—and we need to think of a new way to do this: That has to be the Republican message. Reform, reform, reform. Grow the economy through the policies we know worked under Reagan: Cut taxes, de-regulate, get the government off the back of business.
Moore is more in line with someone like a Rubio, one of the two Republicans—alongside Bush—that Trump is targeting.
“I like Sen. Rubio,” Moore said. “I think there’s very few Republicans who are as articulate on the conservative message as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
.I think he’s a superstar. And he’s got a good chance of winning the nomination, quite frankly. He’s young, he’s dynamic and he speaks for the young generation. Republicans have to win those voters, we have to win back those voters that Barack Obama won. I think there’s a lot to be said for a Marco Rubio presidency.”
The facts, Tea Party Patriots’ Martin said in an interview with this reporter who was guest-hosting Mike Church’s radio show on Sirius XM Patriot on Monday morning, are on Trump’s side.
“I think that it’s easy to attack the messenger, and it’s easy to jump on board with the mainstream media’s attacks, and I think that it’s more difficult sometimes to go look at the issues in the underlying message,” Martin said.
You and I have both been down on the border in Texas. Tea Party Patriots did a documentary last years about the border. And the things that I saw when I was down on the border traveling are very concerning to me. It gave me a much different perspective and appreciation of why we must have and must secure our border and enforce the laws that already on our books. I think that’s something that we see that Americans agree with us on. They want the border secured, the want the laws already on the books to be enacted and they also know there already is a legal path to citizenship for those who want to be in this country and it’s neither fair nor right for people who are breaking the law that they’re cutting the line ahead of the folks who have done so in the legal way.
That brings up yet another point that puts Rubio squarely on an island of his own in the Republican primary: He’s the only legitimate candidate for the presidency on the Republican side of the aisle who supports not just legalization of illegal aliens but full citizenship to be conferred on illegal aliens after they get that full blown amnesty. While Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also supports citizenship, he’s not taken seriously as a 2016 GOP contender—and his lackluster performance in presidential polling means he’s unlikely to make the debate stage. On the other hand, even Bush—Rubio’s mentor—has abandoned his previous support for citizenship for illegal aliens.
“It’s easy to attack Donald Trump if you’re part of the problem,” Dave Bossie, the president of Citizens United, a high-power grassroots conservative group, said in an appearance after Martin on Monday morning on the Mike Church show.
But their problem is Donald Trump’s polling numbers keep going up is because he’s speaking truth to power. Even though he is a very wealthy guy and very successful in his own right—he is a neophyte in politics. He is not one who uses the right words that have been poll-tested. He speaks straight to the American people and he tells it like it is. He says things that everybody is thinking and that’s what has really got people nervous. I think Donald Trump has a huge upside here. Can he continue to make mistakes? Can he continue to do things during the campaign trail if he’s not disciplined? Absolutely. But Donald Trump is exceptionally talented and Donald Trump is somebody I would not just underestimate because you do it at your own peril.
A large part of the reason why Trump is able to speak out against these issues is because—as he also noted in his announcement speech—he is able to self-finance.
“I don’t need anybody’s money,” Trump said then. “It’s nice. I don’t need anybody’s money. I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich, I’ll show you that in a second. And by the way, I’m not even saying that in a braggadocios … that’s the kind that’s the kind of thinking you need for this country.”
Trump and Rubio have already gone a few rounds in the early going. Rubio has hit Trump for his “not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive” immigration comments in his announcement speech.
“Our next president needs to be someone who brings Americans together – not someone who continues to divide,” Rubio said in a statement last Friday. “Our broken immigration system is something that needs to be solved, and comments like this move us further from – not closer to – a solution. We need leaders who offer serious solutions to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system.”
In response, Trump’s team told Breitbart News that not only does Rubio have “zero credibility on securing our border” but that “nothing has been more ‘divisive’ than the outright lies” Rubio told America to “sell his amnesty for illegal immigrants.”
“Hard working Americans cannot depend on Senator Rubio to protect their jobs,” a Trump adviser late last week. “Senator Rubio’s ‘Gang of Eight’ bill, which was such an epic failure it never even came up for a vote in the House, would have given President Obama the immediate power to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.”
Trump himself has hammered the Florida senator too.
“Rubio is weak on immigration and he’s weak on jobs,” Trump said in a recent interview with Breitbart News. “We need someone who is going to make the country great again, and Rubio is not going to make the country great again—and neither is Bush.”
On the day he announced he’s running, in an interview in his Trump Tower office, Trump also told Breitbart News of Rubio: “I would say Marco Rubio is just not the guy.”
That’s what one of Mitt Romney’s most ardent supporters on the ground in New Hampshire last cycle, Carolyn Carruth—a conservative activist who’s here in Las Vegas this weekend—told Breitbart News in an interview. She supported Romney in 2008 and 2012, but is now backing Trump in 2016.
“I know how politically correct, too often, our campaigns have become,” Carruth said in between panels at Freedom Fest.
And it’s a shame because political correctness is killing us. Donald Trump, Scott Walker and Chris Christie all spoke against those things that were hitting them hard. Because they had the courage to say it like it is, as Christie would say, to do it—as Walker did—and Donald Trump, he’ll tell you when you’re fired and he can recognize incompetence. Rubio, his points on immigration—I can’t support Rubio. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
is my choice as far as that goes. But we [conservatives] have got a fine slate of six candidates or so that will be in the top 10. I am certainly surprised because I heard Trump in New Hampshire back in April and nobody believed he would enter. He has and I am so please that he will bring the energy and truth. When he speaks, we understand. When the politicians speak, they don’t get the audience because they are only being taught political correctness. He’s a speaker for the people and to the people in a language that they understand. I’m grateful for him being in.
Rubio will speak here on Friday night around 7:30 p.m., and Trump will speak on Saturday. Trump wasn’t even going to come here until after Rubio attacked him last Friday. On Saturday, the day after Rubio attacked Trump–and as Bush and Romney piled on–Trump and Freedom Fest announced that Trump sought out the stage that at one time was going to belong solely to Rubio.
“Donald Trump, the most controversial candidate for President, has asked to address us on Saturday, July 11, in the Celebrity Ballroom, directly after Senator Sen. Mike Lee (R-, and we agreed to make room for him,” Freedom Fest organizers wrote in an email to attendees.
As the Freedom Fest organizers wrote in that July 4 email: “Let the real fireworks begin”!
After a week of negative press surrounding his comments about Mexicans who cross the border illegally being rapists and criminals, billionaire real estate magnate and genius of self-parody Donald Trump appeared on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday to clarify his remarks.
He didn’t mean Mexicans were particularly prone to rape and criminal activity – he meant to say that all the people crossing the Southern border illegally, be they Mexicans or, presumably, nationals of many of the other countries of Central America who find their way to the U.S. border are potential rapists.
“It’s not Mexicans necessarily, they’re coming from all over,” Trump said.
While Trump and his surrogates spent much of last week berating the media for highlighting the comments he made about Mexican immigrants during his presidential announcement, Trump voluntarily waded back into the discussion on Sunday. Answering a question about U.S. trade deals, he said that he believes Mexico has out-negotiated the U.S., particularly when it comes to auto manufacturing, and immediately segued into the immigration debate.
“I respect what they’re doing,” Trump said. “I think it’s great. I like Mexico. I love the Mexican people. I do business with the Mexican people, but you have people coming through the border who are from all over. And they’re bad. They’re really bad.
“I’ve spoken to border guards and I said, ‘How bad is it?’ And they said ‘Mr. Trump, you have no idea how bad.’ But you have people coming in and I’m not just saying Mexicans, I’m talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists and they’re coming into this country.”
Trump also doubled down on his promise not just to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border, but also to get Mexico to pay for it.
“Look, Mexico has not treated us well,” he told host Jake Tapper. “Mexico treats us as though we are stupid people, which of course our leaders are. I don’t blame Mexico. China is even worse.”
“But how do you force a country to build a wall?”
“No, no, you force them because we give Mexico a fortune. Mexico makes a fortune because of us a wall is a tiny little peanut compared to the kind of money…”
“So you would cut off business or impose tariffs unless they built the wall?”
“I would do something very severe unless they contributed or gave us the money to build the wall. I’d build it; I’d build it very nicely. I’m very good at building things.”
Trump is, without doubt, very good at building up controversy. In a very public spat with Spanish-language television giant Univision, Trump threatened to sue the company unless it backed away from its refusal to broadcast the Miss Universe pageant, partly owned by Trump, in reaction to his comments about Mexican immigrants.
Trump wound up banning Univision employees from his golf resort in Miami, which happens to be near a Univision office. Univision, in turn, instructed its employees to avoid using any Trump facilities for hotel stays or events.
Over the weekend, Trump’s relations with Hispanic voters seemed certain to sour further, when the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, an umbrella group representing dozens of organizations with roots in the Hispanic community, issued statements from its members urging others to follow Univision’s lead.
“Aspirants to the highest office in the land must not use a national electoral platform to spew venomous speech about Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans,” said Hector Sanchez, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “As a Mexican immigrant to this country, I can personally attest to the falsity of Donald Trump’s statements.”
Calling Univision’s move “civil rights leadership in the digital age,” Felix Sanchez, Chairman and Co-founder, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, said, “We implore NBCU to follow Univision’s lead and take a similar stance and sever their financial relationship with Mr. Trump, in light of the bigoted way he has denigrated Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.”
“Trump’s arrogance has never been questioned, but his disgusting views on Latinos and Mexicans in particular will forever mark him as the arrogant bigot that he is,” said Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “Our country deserves much more from its Presidential candidates.”
The Republican National Committee was already worried about Trump. The Party is facing the very real possibility that the reality TV star will use a combination of high name recognition and the ability to spend large amounts of money to qualify for Republican primary debates. Once there, his penchant for off-the-cuff zingers and a willingness to tack far to the right on hot button issues could create a repeat of the 2012 “clown car” debates that drove the entire field rightward and damaged the eventual candidate, Mitt Romney.
Right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson tackled the recent controversy over Memories Pizza, which became Indiana’s first business to publicly declare that they won’t cater to same-sex weddings in the wake of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act this week.
“Most gays, if they’re having a wedding, don’t want pizzas — they want cake,” Robertson told “700 Club” viewers, according to Right Wing Watch. “It’s the cake-makers that are having a problem.”
Still, he warned Christian business owners of all types that gay customers will eventually “make you conform to them.”
“You’re gonna say that you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality,” he added. “Sooner or later, you’re going to have to conform your religious beliefs to the group of some abhorrent thing. It won’t stop at homosexuality.”
Noting that Christian beliefs will “come under assault” until polyamory and polygamy are acceptable, too, Robertson lamented, “It’s a weird world we’re living in.”
The comments aren’t too surprising, particularly given Robertson’s recent history of anti-gay sentiments. In Febuary, he argued that a Washington state judge’s ruling that a florist had discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to provide flowers for their wedding was also indicative of society’s eventual embrace of bestiality.
He asked, “To tell a florist that she’s got to provide flowers for a particular kind of wedding? What if somebody wanted to marry his dog? She’s got to have flowers for that?”