Organized Crime

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Trump Financial Support for Mob-Linked Museum

  • Trump once donated $100,000 to a 'National Museum of Catholic Art' which was based in the former headquarters of Tony Salerno, the boss of the Genovese crime family, one of the largest organized crime families in the New York City mafia. “As it rose again, the Trump Foundation continued to be used to benefit its namesake. The best illustration of that was the charity to which the foundation gave its two largest gifts of the 1990s. The Trump Foundation gave $50,000 in 1995, and another $50,000 in 1999, to a nonprofit called the National Museum of Catholic Art and History. Those gifts, not previously reported, seemed like an odd choice for big charitable dollars. The museum was housed for much of the 1990s in a former headquarters for ‘Fat Tony’ Salerno of the Genovese crime family in East Harlem. It had few visitors and little art. A Village Voice reporter, visiting in 2001, said the collection included a photo of the pope, some nun dolls bought from the Home Shopping Network, and - just off the dining room – ‘a black Jacuzzi decorated with simmering candles, gold-plated soap dishes, and kitsch angel figurines.’” (Washington Post, October 30, 2016)
  • Trump had extensive financial contacts with Ed Malloy, a leader of the Building and Trades union who was also a director of the National Museum of Catholic Art and History. “Trump is not Catholic. But he and the museum had a mutual friend. Ed Malloy, who was then the chairman of the museum's board, was the head of the powerful labor group, the Building and Construction Trades Council. News reports from the time indicate that he was a business ally of Trump's: Union members worked on Trump buildings, and Malloy helped Trump line up vital financing from a union pension fund. ‘Contributing to this museum - you know, it only made sense in the context of relationships,’ said Wayne Barrett, the Village Voice reporter, in a recent interview. The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment about these donations. Malloy died in 2012. The Catholic museum shut down in 2010. ‘I cannot give you a comment. I don't want to be quoted on anything,’ said Christina Cox, the museum's former director, when The Post reached her by phone.” (Washington Post, October 30, 2016)