A newly uncovered video suggests that, despite his statements to the contrary, Donald Trump was familiar with a reportedly mob-linked, high-stakes gambler whose insistence on not interacting with black casino employees spurred an anti-discrimination suit against one of Trump’s casinos.
Trump has previously denied knowing Robert LiButti, one of the biggest spenders at his Trump Plaza casino. But still images from a video surfaced Wednesday by Yahoo News appear to show LiButti standing alongside Trump and his then-wife Ivana in the first row of a 1988 WrestleMania event.
“We were his guests,” LiButti’s daughter, Edith Creamer, told Yahoo News.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told Yahoo the video showed what “was obviously a massive event, which took place decades ago. Mr. Trump attended many similar events with thousands of people during this time period.”
In March, Creamer told Yahoo News that she and her father had been guests on Trump’s yacht and helicopter, and that “I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me.”
LiButti was banned from New Jersey casinos in 1991 due to his alleged ties to Mafia boss John Gotti, Yahoo reported. Prior to that ban, Trump’s hotel had been fined $200,000 for accomodating LiButti’s demand that no female or black casino employees go near him at gambling tables. LiButti also allegedly hurled obscenities and slurs at casino workers.
In one filing reported by Yahoo, regulators found LiButti called various plaza staffers “dumb cunt,” “dumb bitch,” “black bastard” and “Jew broad” after losing craps.
Trump Plaza was fined $450,000 in another instance where the New Jersey Casino Control Commission found the hotel gave LiButti $1.6 million in luxury cars, which he then exchanged for money, a violation of state law that barred cash “comps,” according to the report.
Trump has consistently denied knowing LiButti.
“If he was standing here in front of me, I wouldn’t know what he looked like,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991.
“During the years, I very successfully ran the casino business, I knew many high rollers,” he told Yahoo News earlier this year. “I assume Mr. LiButti was one of them, but I don’t recognize the name.”