Donald Trump and Roger Stone visit Washington, DC, where Trump will speak to lawmakers about what he claims is an organized crime threat on Native American reservations.
The hearing is packed with people, “including a class of first-graders whose school was built with Indian casino revenues,” revenues Trump wants to cut off to direct more traffic to his own casinos.
Trump arrives with a seven-page speech, which he scribbles on and edits as top FBI and Justice Department officials speaking before him make clear that there has been no “widespread or successful effort” by criminals to infiltrate gaming on reservations. Others in the room watch as Trump, whose allegations are well known by now, turns “redder and redder.”
When it’s his turn to speak, he throws the whole speech out, calling it “politically correct” and “very boring.” The truth is that his speech, which was written with help from the more-cautious Stone, admitted that Trump wasn’t positive about mob involvement on reservations. He’s not going to tell that to members of Congress.
Instead, he continues his allegations of a mob-infested Native American casino business and even claims to have a list of mafia incidents on reservations — a list he has shown no one and did not bring with him today. When asked if he’s shared his list with law enforcement or government officials, Trump responds, “That’s not my job.”
Some representatives are not having it. The following conversation between Trump and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) becomes the most “irresponsible” testimony Miller witnesses during his entire 40-year career in Congress.
Miller: In spite of the FBI testimony that this is not a significant problem, Mr. Trump, in one sentence you say they are the most capable of agencies and that you are not a law enforcement expert, and then you tell us that you have superior knowledge to their knowledge about the extent of organized crime on Indian reservations.
Trump: You’ve got a totally closed mind on the subject, sir. We could walk in here with the greatest proof in the history of the world, and frankly, your mind is so closed, for whatever reason, that I can’t believe it…. For whatever reason, you have a closed mind. I don’t know why. Perhaps you could tell me.
M: No, Mr. Trump. I have a closed mind against evidence that is not substantiated–
T: Oh, well.
M: I have a closed mind against statements that are made about other people in generality–
T: You’re gonna be very embarrassed in two years, sir.
M: I have a closed mind when you go on a radio show and you say “Now some drunken Indians want to come down here and open a–“
T: I DIDN’T SAY THAT, SIR! QUOTE IT! I DIDN’T SAY THAT! WHO SAID THAT? WHO SAID THAT? I’D LIKE AN APOLOGY RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE I DIDN’T SAY THAT!
M: Excuse me, Mr. Imus said that.
T: OKAY, COULD I PLEASE HAVE AN APOLOGY?
M: You can have an apology.
T: Thank you, sir.
M: And then you went on to– Is this you? Discussing Indian blood? We’re gonna judge people by whether they have Indian blood whether they’re qualified to run a casino or not?
T: That probably is me, absolutely. Because I’ll tell you what, if you look, if you look at some of the reservations that you have approved — you sir, in your great wisdom, have approved — I will tell you right now. They don’t look like Indians to me, and they don’t look like the Indians– Now maybe we say politically correct or not politically correct– They don’t look like Indians to me, and they don’t look like Indians to Indians, and a lot of people are laughing at it. You’re telling how tough it is, how rough it is, to get approved. When you go up to Connecticut, and you look. They don’t look like Indians to me, sir.
M: Thank God that’s not the test of whether or not people have rights in this country or not, whether or not they pass your look test… Mr. Trump, do you know in the history of this country where we’ve heard this discussion before? “They don’t look Jewish to me.”
T: Oh, really.
M: “They don’t look Indian to me. They don’t look Italian to me.”
M: And that was the test for whether people could go into business or not go into business, whether they could get a bank loan. “You’re too black,” “you’re not black enough.”
Trump goes on to accuse the body of discriminating against him because reservations don’t have to pay taxes on their casinos and he does. That argument devolves into Trump seeming to suggest he should be allowed to start a tax-free reservation for himself.
For context, reservations don’t pay taxes on their casinos because the money goes toward developing the reservation: schools for children, food for everyone, other necessities not provided by the government. A Trump reservation or letting Trump run his casinos for free would not help anyone but Trump.
To get federal recognition, a tribe must submit extensive documentation to the Bureau of Indian Affairs showing that it meets seven criteria. Those include evidence that the group has maintained political influence over its members as an autonomous group since historical times and that members descend from a historical Indian tribe. The process can take decades.The Washington Post