Trump claims Native American reservations run on organized crime

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In an interview with radio host Don Imus, Donald Trump claims that Native tribes and reservations are actually ran by organized crime and have less “Indian blood” than he does.

I think I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians that are trying to open up the reservations… A lot of these reservations are being, in some people’s opinion, at least to a certain extent, run by organized crime and organized crime elements. There’s no protection. There’s no anything. And it’s become a joke.

Donald J. Trump

Trump goes on to suggest that many tribe members are actually Black Americans, and “if you’ve ever been up there, you would truly say that these are not Indians.”

What Trump does not mention in the interview is that he’s in the beginning of a decade-long campaign to protect his own casino profits. When laws changed in 1988 to allow for more gambling on reservations, Atlantic City and Trump’s near-monopoly on East Coast gambling was put at risk. He recently filed a lawsuit to block casinos on reservations, claiming that the 1988 law discriminates against him.

Trump also doesn’t tell Imus that he’s working with a tribe in California.

Trump personally called the chairman of the Agua Caliente band of the Cahuilla Indians and visited the tribe’s administrative offices in an unsuccessful attempt to manage the tribe’s proposed casino, according to a statement the chairman later gave to federal lawmakers. The tribe chose to partner with another casino operator.

The Washington Post

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Photo: Getty Images via HuffPost

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