Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump’s mysterious casino tweet: He’s using racism to cover up his corruption

Published

on

For a while, a popular assessment of Donald Trump’s wild, early-morning rants and attacks on Twitter was that they served as a strategic distraction from even more sinister and potentially damaging goings-on. Eventually, however, political pundits accustomed to norms and decorum came to accept that while Trump may be a brilliant marketer, he is also just a stubborn old man whose worst habits can’t be tamed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Twitter, for Trump, is an effective medium to continue controlling media coverage — or to complain about “Fox & Friends” — from the comfort of his bed. Unlike during the presidential campaign, during his presidency, Trump’s Twitter feed has more often served as an outlet for daily narrative-setting than as a tool of distraction. Occasionally, however, some of the president’s tweets do indeed seem as if they were meant to cover up something more serious.

Take, for instance, this tweet from Wednesday morning: “Republicans shouldn’t vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren. It is unfair and doesn’t treat Native Americans equally!”

The president’s unexpected comment on an obscure piece of legislation that impacts a private-sector venture, while invoking a familiar attack on a political rival, was certainly peculiar. It also might be a case of corruption in plain sight.

Trump’s seemingly random tweet in opposition to a bill recognizing a Massachusetts Native American tribe was prompted by a Republican lobbyist who represents a gaming company that would compete with the tribe’s planned casino.

ADVERTISEMENT

H.R. 375 would make it easier for the Department of the Interior to place plots of land into trust for Native American tribes such as the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Having land taken into trust is a prerequisite for building a tribal casino. In 2015, the Department of the Interior did just that on behalf of the tribe with real estate in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

In 2016, however, a U.S. district court ruled that Interior had overstepped its authority when it took the land into trust because the tribe was not under federal jurisdiction at the time the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act was enacted. Trump’s Interior Department last year overturned the Obama-era decision allowing for the trust. So Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., introduced a legislative route for the tribe to build its casino: the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act or H.R. 375, which would provide congressional approval of the Mashpee as a Native American tribe with sovereignty over their land.

Lawmakers had originally scheduled the bill for a full vote by the House on Wednesday after Democrats fast-tracked it under a suspension of the rules for so-called noncontroversial bills.

ADVERTISEMENT

Then Trump tweeted.

The president of the United States called a prominent political foe “Pocahontas,” even while supposedly calling for the protection of Native American rights. Why would Trump connect this bill to Sen. Elizabeth Warren in particular, when the entire Massachusetts congressional delegation has pushed for this recognition for the tribe? And why would he drag up his infamous slur one more time? Probably to get people talking about the slur and not his meddling, which appears to have been spurred on by a conflict of interest.

Before Trump tweeted his opposition, the husband of one of his top White House advisers sent out a similar tweet of opposition focused on Warren.

ADVERTISEMENT

Matt Schlapp is a lobbyist and chairman of the American Conservative Union, the group that hosts CPAC every year. He is also married to Mercedes Schlapp, a senior White House official. His firm, Cove Strategies, has been paid $30,000, according to the Daily Beast, to lobby on behalf of Twin River Management Group, which owns two Rhode Island casinos that sit approximately 21 and 33 miles, respectively, from the land where the Mashpee tribe would like to build a new casino resort. If Trump successfully quashes the bill recognizing the tribe, either through legislative pressure or a veto, Schlapp’s client has one less competitor.

Drain the swamp? The president just refilled it with Trump water.

Democrats yanked the bill from consideration shortly after Trump’s tweet and have said they will reintroduce it under regular order now that it is no longer considered “non-controversial.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump is “allowing special interest lobbyists like Matt Schlapp — who happens to be married to his staffer — to direct federal policy,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who chairs the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples, in a statement.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., a co-sponsor of the bill, tweeted: “We should expect nothing less than this from a man who lies for a living. But this lie is especially egregious because it threatens the very existence of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe that welcomed the Pilgrims to these shores. This is dangerous (once again) & racist (once again).”

That our president goes out of his way to thumb his nose at ethics is only one part of the story. Trump has a long established animus against Native Americans. That began well before he crossed paths with Elizabeth Warren, but seemed to arise from the fact that gambling casinos established on Indian tribal lands cleaned his clock in the casinos he owned. Trump actively pursued several gambling businesses in the early 1990s, when he testified before Congress.

“I love to compete but I like to compete on an equal footing. I’m competing and paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. … My so-called opponent is competing and paying no tax,” Trump said while testifying before Congress regarding tribal casinos in 1993, according to a recording of the hearing. As a New York Times report revealed this week, at the time of Trump’s complaints he claimed $814 million in losses and paid zero in federal taxes.

ADVERTISEMENT

During that same testimony, he said of Native Americans involved in gaming: “They don’t look like Indians to me.”

Regardless of the direct reason this bill was pulled, it certainly feels as if Trump’s attack was not based on the merits of the legislation, but either about lobbying by a competitor or political payback against Warren and Native Americans. Trump’s racism can’t be hidden, so he is using it this time to hide his corruption.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump has figured out how to get taxpayers to renovate one of his golf courses: MSNBC panel

Published

on

President Donald Trump has figured out how to have taxpayers pay to renovate his Trump National Doral Miami golf course, according to an analysis by MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

"Before setting himself on fire on Ukraine yesterday, Mick Mulvaney came into the White House briefing room to break to the nation the fact the that the Trump Doral golf resort turns out to be -- in his estimation, organically, just sitting there -- the best possible place to have a G-7 Summit of world leaders," MSNBC's Brian Williams reported. "That was provision number one. There’s no better place that we can find. Number two was, the president will not profit from said G-7."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Bill Maher reveals plan to ‘bribe’ Trump with one billion dollars — for him to leave office

Published

on

The Constitution has two mechanisms to remove President Donald Trump from office prior to his term ending on January 20, 2021: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.

HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher noted that Trump could also choose to resign.

Maher waved around a $1 million check that he said he would give to Trump to quit.

He said he also knew 1,000 people who would do the same -- which would land Trump over $1 billion.

Maher said even poor people would pawn their wedding rings to add to the pot.

Watch:

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump can’t fire Mulvaney because nobody else wants to be his chief of staff: report

Published

on

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will likely stay on at the White House despite his public confession of a quid pro quo in the Ukraine scandal at the center of the impeachment inquiry, The New York Times reported Friday.

"But Mr. Mulvaney’s job has been anything but normal since the news conference on Thursday at which he seemingly undermined the Trump administration’s strategy for avoiding impeachment by acknowledging that Mr. Trump had sought a quid pro quo for providing Ukraine with American aid," the newspaper reported. "In the chaotic aftermath, the president’s Republican allies are questioning Mr. Mulvaney’s savvy and intelligence even as the Trump campaign is defiantly turning one of his lines from the news conference into a T-shirt."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image