Yahoo News published a report Monday that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump had close ties to a New Jersey man who was linked to the mob and gambled millions of dollars at one of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos.
Robert LiButti, the late, renowned horse breeder who was banned from state casinos for his alleged ties to mobster John Gotti, flew on Trump’s helicopter and partied on the billionaire mogul’s yacht, LiButti’s daughter told Yahoo.
Questions about Trump’s relationship with LiButti were first raised in 1991 when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission was investigating Trump Plaza employees’ claims that the casino repeatedly pulled blacks and women off tables where LiButti was gambling.
The commission fined Trump Plaza $200,000 for violating anti-discrimination laws after finding that hotel staff accommodated LiButti after he hurled obscenities and racial slurs at blacks and women, according to the report.
In one filing reported by Yahoo, regulators found LiButti called a Plaza staffer a “dumb cunt” and a “dumb bitch,” a black dealer “black bastard,” and another employee a “Jew broad” in angry fits after losing craps.
Trump denied knowing LiButti. In 1991, he told a Philadelphia Enquirer reporter, “I have heard he is a high roller, but if he was standing here in front of me, I wouldn’t know what he looked like.”
Asked for comment on the Yahoo story, Trump said via a spokeswoman that he didn’t “recognize the name” and “knew many high rollers” during his time in the casino business.
But Edith Creamer, LiButti’s daughter, disputed Trump’s denying any relationship with her father.
“He’s a liar,” Creamer told Yahoo. “Of course he knew him. I flew in the [Trump] helicopter with [Trump’s then wife] Ivana and the kids. My dad flew it up and down [to Atlantic City]. My 35th birthday party was at the Plaza and Donald was there. After the party, we went on his boat, his big yacht.”
Creamer went on: “I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me.”
In a secret 1990 New Jersey police recording between LiButti and Edward Tracy, Trump’s top Atlantic City executive, that led to LiButti’s downfall, he said “I’m very close” with Trump. LiButti also made reference to a conversation with Trump on his helicopter, according to the transcript obtained by Yahoo.
LiButti also recounted giving Trump relationship advice in the recording and told Tracy how the mogul once cut him a check to keep him coming back to Trump Plaza after he lost $350,000 on the craps tables.
Read Yahoo’s full report here.