President Donald Trump has a habit of praising dictators, neo-Nazis and other unsavory characters as fine and decent people, and now that also applies to mobsters.
A newly unearthed video shows Trump grudgingly praising the New York mob during a 2013 appearance with CBS’ “Late Show” with David Letterman, who asked point-blank whether he had ever knowingly done business with organized crime, reported The Guardian.
“I’ve really tried to stay away from them as much as possible,” Trump said, grimacing. “You know, growing up in New York and doing business in New York, I would say there might have been one of those characters along the way, but generally speaking I like to stay away from that group.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) infuriated the president by comparing him to a mafia boss, which the House Intelligence Committee chairman dramatically illustrated by paraphrasing Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, but he admitted to Letterman that he personally liked some of the mobsters he’d met.
“I have met on occasion a few of those people,” Trump told Letterman. “They happen to be very nice people.”
Trump once shared a lawyer, the late Roy Cohn, with “Fat Tony” Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and John Gotti, who headed the Gambinos, and Trump Tower was built in the 1980s using ready-mix concrete that was almost certainly bought from mob leaders.
Wayne Barrett, the late Village Voice reporter who traced Trump’s dealings for decades, once observed that the future president’s life “intertwines with the underworld.”
Although he found some of those Mafia characters to be “very nice” personally, Trump gave Letterman a warning about doing business with them.
“You just don’t want to owe them money,” he said. “Don’t owe them money.”
‘This is not about tweets!’ GOP lawmaker deflects wildly when asked about Trump’s attacks on Yovanovitch
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on Friday was not happy to be asked about President Donald Trump's tweets attacking former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
During a press conference that occurred after the day's impeachment hearings, Stefanik tried to make the case that nothing in Yovanovitch's testimony provided any reason to impeach the president.
She was thrown off her game, however, when a reporter asked her whether the president's tweet harmed her party's ability to send a consistent message.
"We're not here to talk about tweets but impeachable offenses!" she angrily replied. "Let me answer your question. These hearings are not about tweets. They are about impeachment of the president of United States. This is a constitutional matter."
‘I demand to speak!’ Republican bursts into anger over Adam Schiff’s closing remarks
Republican Rep. Mike Conaway (TX) was not pleased that House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) got the last word at the second public impeachment hearing on Friday.
During his closing remarks, Schiff said Trump had engaged in "an effort to coerce, condition or bribe a foreign country into doing [his] dirty work."
"The fact that they failed in this solicitation of bribery doesn’t make it any less bribery. Doesn’t make it any less immoral or corrupt. It just means it was unsuccessful. And to that we owe other dedicated public servants who blew the whistle. Had they not blown the whistle we wouldn’t be here and I think it is appalling that my colleagues continue to want to out this whistleblower so that he or she can be punished by this president," Schiff said.
‘I’m sorry — is there a question there?’ Yovanovitch snaps back at Jim Jordan’s jumbled posturing
As questioning of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch resumed on the second day of the House's public hearing in their impeachment inquiry, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tried to suggest that there was a culture of anti-Trump sentiment amongst elements of the Ukrainian government and its US envoys.
Jordan then questioned Yovanovitch as to why she didn't try to intervene to make the environment less politicized.
"One of the things we've heard so much over the last six weeks in depositions, and frankly in the hearing on Wednesday, is how important bipartisan support is for Ukraine," Jordan said addressing Yovanovitch. "Democrats and Republicans agree they want to help Ukraine, in fact, [Ambassador Bill Taylor] said, 'Ukraine's most strategic asset is this bipartisan support...'"