Last week, media coverage of Donald Trump may have hit an inflection point, when major news outlets, while covering Trump's latest birther shenanigans, characterized the GOP presidential nominee's remarks as a lie. Though Trump has scored more pants-on-fire false statements than any other candidate in this campaign, mainstream news outlets have struggled over whether and how to use the L-word when reporting on him. With this birther-driven breakthrough in coverage, there now remain plenty of brazenly untrue assertions -- deliberate lies or not -- uttered by Trump that warrant close examination. One topic ripe for such scrutiny is Trump's associations with organized crime. For years during his business career, Trump worked or associated with proven or alleged mobsters. (Trump's longtime lawyer, the thuggish and deceased Roy Cohn, repped numerous Mafia bosses, some of whom were connected to Trump projects.) Yet when asked about his links to the mob, Trump has repeatedly made false comments and has contradicted himself -- to such a degree it seems he has flat-out lied about these relationships, even when he was under oath.
If elected president, Trump would be in charge of federal law enforcement. So his attitude toward the mob could well be deemed a highly significant campaign issue -- as could his long record of not telling the truth about his ties to organized crime. Here are some of the strongest examples of when Trump has spoken falsely on this matter.
The time Trump falsely denied in a deposition that he associated with any mob associates: In 2005, journalist Timothy O'Brien published a book on Trump, TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, in which he referenced an already established fact: that in the early 1980s Trump began his casino empire in Atlantic City, New Jersey, by leasing property owned by Kenneth Shapiro and Daniel Sullivan. Shapiro, O'Brien wrote, was a "street-level gangster with close ties to the Philadelphia mob," and Sullivan was a "Mafia associate, FBI informant and labor negotiator." (Trump also had obtained Sullivan's assistance when he had trouble with undocumented Polish workers who were demolishing the Bonwit Teller building in Manhattan to make way for Trump Tower.)Go to Mother Jones to read the rest of this article.