Trump’s Staff Of The “Best People” Now Include Bridgegate Plotter

Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that he only hires the very best people. Apparently he considers Chris Christie’s disgraced former campaign manager and deputy chief of staff one of those people. The Trump campaign has hired Bill Stepien as a National Field Director. Christie claimed to be disturbed by  Stepien’s “callous indifference” in hatching the “Bridgegate” scandal, concerns apparently not shared by the Trump campaign.


Bill Stepien’s Role In Bridgegate

Stepien Was Central Christie Aide In Government And Campaigns

Bill Stepien Was Christie’s Campaign Manager In 2009. According to the Star-Ledger, “And Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien issued a statement late yesterday saying ‘Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie wants to bring real change to Trenton and that comes with ending politics as usual, which this trip has become a symbol of.’” [Star-Ledger, 1/29/09]

Stepien Was Christie’s Campaign Manager In 2013. According to the Record, “‘He took charge and produced a record of accomplishment, bipartisan reforms and steady leadership […]

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Trump’s Mob Ties

Donald Trump loves to talk up his business record, but he for some reason neglects to mention that his history of real estate investment in New York and New Jersey is inextricably linked to mob activity.

There’s Roy Cohn, a known consigliere — think Tom Hagen from The Godfather — to the crime boss of the Genovese crime family. Cohn’s other employer? Donald J.Trump, for whom Cohn worked as a lawyer and “power broker.” Through Cohn,Trump hired a “mobbed up” concrete firm run by Antony “Fat Tony” Salerno — who later went to prison on racketeering charges — and Paul Castellano.
And then there’s Felix Sater, who came to work for Trump after going to prison for “stabbing a man in the face with the stem of a margarita glass.” When Trump and Sater first started working together, Stater was “awaiting sentencing for his role in a Mafia-orchestrated stock fraud scheme.” Since then, Trump’s denied knowing Sater well, but that didn’t stop Trump from asking Sater to […]

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Trump’s Gaddafi Gambit

In 2009, Donald Trump decided it was a good idea to rent land at his New York estate to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Trump has tried to downplay the Gaddafi deal — and at one point even plead ignorance the arrangement — but BuzzFeed News reports there’s even more to the story: Trump actively “sought to use the opportunity to gain access to [Gaddafi], who was in a position to release billions in investment capital.”

Sure, Trump’s said you’ve got to give Kim Jong Un “credit” for killing his uncle to seize power, but actively trying to do business with a similarly ruthless dictator like Gaddafi is a whole different ball game.

If nothing else, it speaks to the extent to which Donald Trump is agnostic to the oppression and exploitation of others when there’s a buck to be made.

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Trump’s Business Related Conflicts Of Interest And Shady Saudi Companies

Running a presidential campaign hasn’t stopped Donald Trump’s eagerness to profit at the expense of others — and that means more entangling business deals that create conflict of interest problems, some of which, given Trump’s lack of transparency, we may not even know about.

Since last June alone, Trump’s “formed at least 46 companies that he controls,” according to BuzzFeed News reports. In Saudi Arabia, alone, which Trump’s been highly critical of on the campaign trail, Trump’s formed at least 8 companies. Peculiarly, of those 8, “four were dissolved within months” — and there’s “been no public disclosure about the purpose” of any of the entities.

46 assorted shell companies in the last year. And Trump’s been in business for upwards of 50 years. That means a lot of potential conflicts of interest — and likely — and a lot of unanswered questions. Particularly given Trump’s essentially unprecedented lack of transparency in his staunch […]

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Did Trump Partner Up With The Son Of An Iranian General’s “Silent Partner”?

In Baku, Azerbaijan, Trump tried to partner up with Anar Mammadov, whose father is an Azerbaijani government minister “suspected by U.S. diplomats of laundering money for Iran’s military and described as ‘notoriously corrupt,’” according to the Associated Press.

Trump announced the project in January of 2015, but since then, the AP reports that all “references to the Baku project have disappeared from Trump’s website.”

Does Trump’s apparent eagerness to distance himself from the project have anything to do with the report that his Azerbaijani associate’s father is “presumed to be a silent partner to a former senior Iranian general and reputed money launderer, Kamal Darvishi”?


Trump Partnered With Anar Mammadov, Son Of Transportation Minister Ziya Mammadov, For An Azerbaijan Real Estate Project

2015: Trump Announced Real Estate Project In Baku, Azerbaijan. According to The Associated Press, “Six months […]

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Trump Organization “Routinely Erased Emails”

In a 2006 lawsuit, Donald Trump was accused of deleting key email evidence and “destroy[ing] old computers,” which the defendants in the case argued “amounted to destruction of evidence,” according to USA Today. Evidently, it was “routine” for the Trump Organization to purge electronic records, as that the company at the time “had no records from 1996 to 2001.”

Trump’s potentially intentional deletion of evidence fits into the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee’s broader trend of sketchy business practices.

Trump’s currently getting sued over Trump University — a “fraudulent scheme” that took advantage of “novice” investors, including veterans, seniors, and single parents “of three children that may need money for food.”

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because a USA Today investigation reports that Trump’s been party to at least 3,500 lawsuits over the years. An additional report has found that Trump stiffed hundreds of small business owners and workers over the years by […]

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MEMO: Trump’s Criminal Associations And Transnational Conflicts Of Interest

It’s no secret that Donald Trump’s senior advisor and campaign chair, Paul Manafort, has ties to “dictators, guerilla groups, and despots with no regard for human rights,” one of whom, according to The Daily Beast, was “responsible for mass amputations, and another who oversaw state-sanctioned rape.” But it isn’t just dictators. The Guardian reports, “Manafort has [also] become involved in business deals that have sparked litigation and allegations of impropriety.” Manafort’s sketchy business track record and associations with unstable and irrational leaders make him a perfect fit for Trump.

Why? Because Donald Trump is a racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic fearmongerer, with the temperament of a two year-old. Trump’s fawned over strongmen like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, and said he’ll handicap the First Amendment’s freedom of the press, if elected.

Donald Trump has spent his entire life enriching himself at the expense of seniorsveterans“novice” investorssmall business owners, and working Americans […]

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Rubio And Gov. Haley Find Common Ground Over Shady Ethics Histories

Marco Rubio has a shady ethics history that stretches back to his time in the Florida House of Representatives. Appropriately, the U.S. Senator from Florida’s latest endorser, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, has her own history of ethics controversies.

Here’s a taste of Rubio’s ethical low-lights:

Florida Republican Party Credit Card — Marco Rubio used a Florida Republican Party credit card to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenditures. Rubio used the card to pay for a family trip and a home improvement project, among other things, but that’s not all. Rubio’s campaign insists that he’s made all of the credit card records public, but, as National Journal reported last month, some of his spending records remain undisclosed.

The $48 Million “Taj Mahal” Courthouse — Personal use of the Florida GOP credit card isn’t Rubio’s only foray into ethical gray areas. Back in 2010, Rubio similarly faced scrutiny for his involvement as a […]

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RoJo’s Senate Ethics No-No

Vulnerable Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is — as usual — in hot water.

This time, he’s under serious scrutiny after a potential ethics violation for using blog posts on his official Senate website to launch partisan, campaign-related attacks on Russ Feingold, his 2016 challenger.

The Senate Ethics Manual, according to the Huffington Post, “says senators and staff members cannot use Senate Internet ‘for personal, promotional, commercial, or partisan political purposes.’”

The ever-unflappable Johnson isn’t worried about the ethics complaint, though. At a recent town hall, he dismissed the complaint as not “a big deal at all,” according to the Huffington Post, and went on to say: “I get PolitiFacted all the time, so we were just responding to that. And you know, because now we’re in campaign season, and the one fact-check was something Sen. Feingold had said, we responded to that.”

In other words, Johnson’s more or less leaning in to his decision […]

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Jeb’s searchable tax returns

In his enduring commitment to “transparency,” Jeb Bush made sure that the incomplete tax returns he posted to his website were unsearchable and difficult to download. So we fixed it for you.

Click here to access American Bridge’s full text searchable and downloadable copy of Jeb’s incomplete tax returns.

The initial reviews show Jeb’s hollow promises on transparency:

Tampa Bay Times: “Bush’s transparency has limits. He would not commit to releasing more details about some of his consulting clients or several limited liability corporations he had created but has since resigned from.”

Read more after the jump.