In 2013, Trump Said The Mafia Are ‘Very Nice People', Just Don’t Owe Them Money
California Rep. Adam Schiff described President Donald Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president as a “classic, mafia-like shakedown” — a characterization Trump has repeatedly denied.
When Letterman asked if Trump had “ever knowingly done business with organized crime,” the future president responded: “I’ve really tried to stay away from them as much as possible.”
“You know, growing up in New York and doing business in New York, I would say there might have been one of those characters along the way,” he continued, “but generally speaking I like to stay away from that group.”
Then Trump added: “I have met on occasion a few of those people. They happen to be very nice people.”
The Guardian noted that some might disagree with Trump’s characterization, like “those at the receiving end of Gambino racketeering, Lucchese loan sharking or Bonanno fraud. Not to mention the murders.”
But the then-real estate mogul — who certainly has had plenty of dealings with the mob, given his career, location and networks — offered Letterman a piece of advice.
“You just don’t want to owe them money,” Trump said. “Don’t owe them money.”