What Trump's Past in Atlantic City Could Say About His Future

Email a Friend
Atlantic City at sundown

Atlantic City is near bankruptcy and New Jersey legislators are fighting over a rescue plan this week.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has us thinking about his rise and fall — and rise again — while the casino empire he built in Atlantic City is in ruins.

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston has been covering Trump on and off for 27 years for The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times, and is now writing for The National Memo.

Johnston said Trump's deals in Atlantic City, where his resorts were among the first to fail, are typical of many of his business deals, even though Trump continues to tout his business savvy as one of his major assets.

Johnston said there's a "massive public record" of Trump's shady conduct.

"We have never had a major party nominate someone for president of the United States who had long, deep and enduring relationships with mobsters, mob associates, a drug trafficker and various con artists," Johnston said. "This is unprecedented in American history."

Trump was asked about his connections to organized crime in March by Chris Matthews of MSNBC.

"I've known tough cookies over the years," he said. "I've known very tough people, I've known people that make the politicians that you and I deal with everyday look like little babies. They'd walk across the street out of fear, if they ever saw some of these guys. I deal with people that are very tough people and I get it done."

In this interview, WNYC's Jami Floyd talks with Johnston about Trump's past business deals and what they could say about the way he intends to run things if he becomes president.