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Ben Carson Insists Trump Isn’t Racist Because Black Employees ‘Love Him’

The sole black member of Donald Trump’s Cabinet insisted this week that Trump is not racist because he is liked by his minority employees and let wealthy Jewish and black people join his Mar-a-Lago club.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson on Friday told attendees at a summit on economic opportunity that he’d gotten to know Trump — who spent much of the 2016 campaign portraying Carson as a low-energy man with a “pathological” temper, a questionable religion, and no leadership ability — since joining his administration.

“Talking to the people who drive the cars and park the cars at Mar-a-Lago — they love him. The people who wash the dishes, because he’s kind and compassionate,” Carson said.

“When he bought Mar-a-Lago, he was the one who fought for Jews and blacks to be included in the clubs that were trying to exclude them,” he added. You know, people say he’s a racist. He is not a racist.”

Carson’s suggestion that Trump was a civil rights pioneer in the Palm Beach club scene is misleading at best. In reality, Trump fought not to integrate other clubs, but rather to renovate his own.

According to a 2015 Washington Post report, back in the 1990s, after Trump bought the Mar-a-Lago mansion, the Palm Beach town council attempted to impose restrictions on Trump’s property use, as he was trying to convert it into a private club and resort.

Trump pushed back against the council, the outlet noted, “claiming that local officials seemed to accept the established private clubs in town that had excluded Jews and blacks while imposing tough rules on his inclusive one.” After he accused the council of discrimination against him, they mostly backed off.

“He won in the court of public opinion,” Jack McDonald, a council member at the time, told the Post.

According to the outlet, McDonald later “went on to be mayor and to join Mar-a-Lago.”

Another former Palm Beach council member, Allen Wyett, told the Post that Trump’s decision to accept black and Jewish members was likely more a business strategy than anything else.

“Was he smart enough to realize that Palm Beach is about 40 percent Jewish and he was not going to attract the old guard anyway?” he asked.

Trump notably has a lengthy record of anti-Semitism and racism.

As a candidate in 2015, he employed anti-Semitic stereotypes portraying Jewish Republican donors as money-grubbing people who are only focused on negotiations. Last year, he claimed Jews showed “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty” by voting for Democrats, while suggesting American Jews were more loyal to Israel than the United States. He also famously praised neo-Nazis as “very fine people” in 2017.

Trump also spent several years pushing racist — and demonstrably false — birther conspiracy theories about Barack Obama, suggesting the first black president was not really an American. He has dismissed African nations as “shithole countries” and has frequently attacked women of color, recently telling four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries.

Since 2017, a Mar-a-Lago membership has cost $200,000, plus $14,000 in annual dues.

As New York Prosecutors Threaten, Trump Flees To Florida

Reprinted with permission from DCReport.

 

Report: Trump And Epstein Entertained At Mar-A-Lago By Dozens Of Young Women

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

A new report from the New York Times on Tuesday revealed fresh details about the years-long friendship between President Donald Trump and the convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The most bizarre revelation was the account of a party, told by Florida businessman George Houraney, at which Trump and Epstein were the only guests:

It was supposed to be an exclusive party at Mar-a-Lago, Donald J. Trump’s members-only club in Palm Beach, Fla. But other than the two dozen or so women flown in to provide the entertainment, the only guests were Mr. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein.

The year was 1992 and the event was a “calendar girl” competition, something that George Houraney, a Florida-based businessman who ran American Dream Enterprise, had organized at Mr. Trump’s request.

“I arranged to have some contestants fly in,” Mr. Houraney recalled in an interview on Monday. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein.”

The report contains no allegations of misconduct at the party, but it’s a disturbing account given that Epstein has just been indicted on charges of sex trafficking young teenage girls. (Houraney and his girlfriend Jill Harth have accused Trump of sexual abuseof Harth).

Some of Trump’s public comments suggest that he was aware at the time of Epstein’s interest in having sex with underage girls. The Times report indicates that during the 2016 campaign, Trump believed he could use Epstein’s ties to Bill Clinton to damage Hillary Clinton. It also says that David Pecker of The National Enquirer suggested he had damaging information about Clinton and Epstein, though that never became a major issue in the race.

On Tuesday in the Oval Office, Trump downplayed his relationship to Epstein. He said he knew him  “like everybody else in Palm Beach knew him … he was a fixture in Palm Beach.” But the Times report details a much closer relationship than those remarks suggest. In fact, the two men were reportedly involved in a business venture together, and when it fell apart, their relationship soured.

IMAGE: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, scene of reported party with 28 young women and only Trump and Jeffrey Epstein as guests.

 

Government Agencies Using Trump Hotels, Despite Official Ethics Advice

A bombshell report dropped late Thursday from the Washington Post showing just how much money Trump has pocketed from taxpayers by encouraging government agencies to use his properties for official government events — a practice his own ethics officials know is wrong but have been powerless to stop.

Trump earned at least $1.6 million from both the federal government and Republican campaigns which have used his properties. And the Post cautioned that the actual number is likely much, much higher, given that the numbers they crunched were only from the first half of 2017 when Trump first took office. Since then, Trump, GOP lawmakers, and administration officials have made many more stops at his properties.

In fact, GOP fundraisers admit that’s why they hold fundraisers at Trump hotels — it increases the chances Trump might show up.

Trump has also been successful in getting government agencies to use his properties. The Department of Defense shelled out $12,000 for rooms at Mar-a-Lago in early 2017. Other executive agencies racked up a $30,000 bill for hotel stays in April of that year as well.

The Post went on to report that ethics officials have “sought to dissuade” Trump from holding official events or taking trips to his properties — such as the out-of-the-way pit stop he made to his failing golf resort in Ireland during his U.K. state visit earlier this month — but have been ignored.

In fact, Trump has only gotten more brazen about his use of his properties.

Trump wants to hold a Group of Seven (G-7) meeting at his failing golf resort in Doral, Florida. That would mean foreign governments would be spending large sums of money at his property, putting money in Trump’s pocket in what looks like a blatant violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause that bans presidents from receiving payments from foreign governments.

Published with permission of The American Independent.