Business Insider reported on Sunday that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas suggested on “Meet the Press” that the reason Donald Trump is hiding his tax returns is that they might reveal how extensive the real estate tycoon’s ties are to the Mafia. In fact, we do not need Trump’s tax filings to understand that he has done business with organized crime for most of his career. Last summer, the Federalist recounted his extensive dealings with mobsters, many of whom controlled labor unions who worked in Trump’s various enterprises.
In the meantime, Trump is dancing around explaining why David Duke, a KKK leader and a former member of the American Nazi Party, is one of his more high-profile supporters. The standard response, when faced with such a situation, is to repudiate such support. Trump has been somewhat reticent to do so, possibly, as Hot Air suggested because he did not want to annoy the percentage of his fan base who are racists and anti-Semites.
To be fair, dealing with shady criminals may have been the cost of doing business in the early 1980s. However, what might have been done with a wink and a nod when Donald Trump was just a real estate mogul with a flashy lifestyle may be hard to explain when the same man, 30 years later, wants to be president of the United States.
Considering what Trump has said about Mexicans and Muslims, the David Duke relationship is even more disturbing. Trump was eventually forced to repudiate Duke, under prodding from the media, but that is the sort of thing that should be second nature. Trump even tried to claim that he had never heard of the Ku Klux Klan, something that is not credible coming from anyone who has lived in America in recent history.