An inquiry into the background of flamboyant American entrepreneur Donald J. Trump provides some surprising insights into Trump’s path to power and influence, for the fact is that Trump’s rise to stardom came as a direct consequence of his having functioned as hardly more than a colorful front man for some very wealthy behind-the-scenes sponsors.
Everyone knows, of course, about Trump’s gambling operations and of the wide-ranging links of the gambling industry to organized crime. But the story is much bigger than that. In his own memoir, The Art of the Deal, Trump proudly described how in 1987 he bought his first casino interests when he purchased 93% of the voting stock in the Resorts International gambling concern.
What Trump doesn’t tell his readers is what the late Andrew St. George reported in The Spotlight on October 30, 1978 (and in the previous September 25, 1978, issue): Resorts International was established and controlled by front men for the Rockefeller and Rothschild families and their “enforcers” in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its allied intelligence agency, Israel’s Mossad.
What made the report so explosive was that this newspaper pointed out that the illegally rigged casinos were being operated with the collusion of “respectable” politicians, law enforcement officials, Wall Street financiers who floated loans to finance the gambling resorts and the high-profile gambling resort operators themselves.
St. George pointed out that many of these casino resorts run by the mob through a variety of front men have actually been engaged in a de facto partnership with behind-the-scenes mobsters who have assisted the CIA and the Mossad in massive laundering of drug and gambling profits that have been channeled into covert operations of the two allied
intelligence agencies. In return, the CIA and the Mossad, using their own influence, have provided “protection” for the illegally fixed gambling operations, preventing law enforcement authorities from cracking down on this corruption.
Where does would-be president Trump fit into the picture? To find the answer, one must turn to the murky origins of Resorts International.
Resorts evolved from a CIA front company set up in the early 1950s by then-CIA director Allen W. Dulles and his close associate, three-term New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, a political functionary in the so-called “Rockefeller Republican” wing of the GOP.
The front company in question was the innocuously named Mary Carter Paint Company, which operated a national chain of paint stores but was set up to function as a covert CIA money-laundering operation.
In 1958-59 Dewey and a number of associates used a reported $2 million in CIA funds to buy a controlling interest in the Crosby-Miller Corporation (headed by Dewey friend James Crosby), which was then merged with Mary Carter.
Among other things, the new corporation laundered CIA money for arming the anti-Castro Cuban exiles. The company also launched into lucrative casino gambling enterprises in the Caribbean where the CIA was quite active during that period, having engaged the Lansky crime syndicate in now-thoroughly documented and widely known plots to topple Fidel Castro who had enraged the mob by closing down its Cuban gambling enterprises.
Thus it should be no surprise that in 1963, Alvin I. Malnik, a top henchman of crime syndicate boss Meyer Lansky, was found to be closely connected to the operations of Mary Carter Paint.
In 1963, Mary Carter Paint spun off its paint division and during the next several years began developing its casino operations, particularly in the Bahamas. In 1967-68, Mary Carter Paint officially changed its name to Resorts International and began massive international expansion. The Spotlight determined that several principal investors provided the funds and assets for the venture:
• Meyer Lansky, the acknowledged “chairman of the board” and chief financier of the underworld gambling syndicate, who maintained his own longstanding ties to not only Israel and the Mossad, but also the CIA and the American intelligence community;
• David Rockefeller, head of the Rockefeller financial empire, who provided his family’s clout and CIA and global banking connections to assist in the operation;
• The Investors Overseas Service (IOS), then the world’s largest flight-capital conglomerate, controlling assets worth $2.5 billion.
• Tibor Rosenbaum, who was not only the Mossad’s Swiss-based chief financier behind covert arms deals but also the head of the Banque De Credit Internationale of Geneva, the Lansky syndicate’s chief European money laundry; and
• Baron Edmond de Rothschild of the European banking family and a personal business partner of Rosenbaum in Rosenbaum’s Mossad-related ventures ranging far and wide; and lastly,
• William Mellon Hitchcock, one of the heirs to the Mellon family fortune (one of America’s largest private family fortunes, which, for many years, has also maintained close ties with the CIA).
Resorts International expanded by leaps and bounds and soon became one of the most profitable of all the gambling enterprises, and by 1970 the underworld figures who were running the casinos (in league with their behind-the-scenes partners) began moving to expand casino gambling in the United States.
Mob chief Lansky called a high-level meeting of gambling syndicate figures in Acapulco, Mexico and there the assembled mobsters pinpointed the fading resort of Atlantic City as their first new target. (Prior to that time, of course, the mob had already established Nevada as the only outpost of legalized gambling on U.S. soil.)
In the wake of this meeting, the resources of Resorts International were used (publicly and privately) to begin the lobbying campaign that resulted in the legalizing of gambling in Atlantic City and once the New Jersey legislature opened up the Garden State, Resorts moved in.
In 1987, upon the death of longtime CIA front man James Crosby, the nominal head of Resorts International, up-and-coming young New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump stepped into the picture and bought Crosby’s interest in the gambling empire.
Trump soon became a household name, with his colorful personality and his insistence upon naming a variety of luxury hotels, apartment houses and other commercial ventures after himself. But while the name “Trump” appeared in the headlines, the names of the real movers behind Resorts International remained hidden from public view.
It’s still uncertain if Trump will go through with this plan, but the pressure on Trump goes deeper than a promise to voters. His biggest campaign contributor, billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is showing growing impatience with Trump’s slowness in moving the embassy, which would be a provocation to Palestinians who claim Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. For this reason, past presidents have refused to move the embassy on grounds that it would upset potential talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
Before Trump was even sworn in as president, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, showed a remarkable willingness to follow directions from Israel’s far-right prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The transition team appears to have worked at the request of Netanyahu to defeat a UN resolution criticizing Israel’s ongoing settlement construction. Reporting advanced the story, revealing that Kushner told former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to call members of the Security Council in an effort to stop the vote, a potential violation of the Logan Act, which criminalizes negotiations by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the U.S.
When the Trump White House hasn’t been quick enough to back Netanyahu or Adelson’s proposals, Adelson, who was reportedly in close contact with Kushner during the campaign, has been quick to express his displeasure.
Adelson, who once accused Palestinians of existing “to destroy Israel,” was reportedly “furious” with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in May for suggesting in a Meet The Press interview that moving the embassy should be contingent on the peace process. Axiosreported:
[S]ources say the Las Vegas billionaire doesn’t buy the argument that the embassy move should be contingent on the peace process. He has told Trump that Palestinians are impossible negotiating partners and make demands that Israel can never meet.
Adelson and his wife Miriam spent more than $80 million on Republicans in 2016, and he gave $5 million to Trump’s inauguration.
Adelson and his wife Miriam also contributed $35 million to help elect Trump.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal, which is owned by Adelson, wrote in October, “The Adelsons reportedly have been disappointed in Trump’s failure to keep a campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on his first day in office.”
And before the funder got on the Trump bandwagon, candidate Trump was outspoken about Adelson’s intentions in putting his money behind candidates. He infamously taunted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who in October 2015 was a frontrunner to secure Adelson’s backing, tweeting:
As we’ve documented on LobeLog, Trump dramatically changed his message on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular, saying that he would move the embassy to Jerusalem and wouldn’t call for a freeze on the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank, as he closed in on the nomination and sought to secure Adelson’s support for his general election campaign.
Unconditional support for Israel is Adelson’s “central value,” according to Newt Gingrich in 2012, when Adelson was funding his presidential campaign’s Super PAC.
That statement is worth revisiting now as Trump weighs a policy announcement on Jerusalem where his most generous campaign supporter is pushing for a change in U.S. policy that threatens to undermine the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and seriously throw into question the viability of a two-state solution.