The Trump Files: Donald Claimed “More Indian Blood” Than the Native Americans Competing With His Casinos

Ivylise Simones

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Until the election, we’re bringing you “The Trump Files,” a daily dose of telling episodes, strange but true stories, or curious scenes from the life of GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has found no shortage of groups to offend this election cycle: Mexicans, Muslims, women, reporters, veterans, the disabled. But back in 1993, it was Native Americans who bore the brunt of Trump’s ridicule.

According to a transcript published by the Los Angeles Times, in a radio interview with disgraced host Don Imus, Trump mocked Native American communities that had opened or wanted to open casinos in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey—all in the vicinity of Trump’s own competing properties in Atlantic City.  

Trump questioned the legitimacy of the Native Americans’ heritage, telling Imus, “I would perhaps become an Indian myself.” He added, “I think I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians that are trying to open up the reservations.”

Trump made similar comments while testifying before a House subcommittee later that same year, saying that the Mashantucket Pequot tribe in Connecticut didn’t “look like Indians to me.” At the hearing, he also complained that “the Indians don’t have to pay tax.”

Trump’s vendetta didn’t stop there. The New York Times reported that in 2000, Trump financed ads portraying members of a Native American tribe as menacing criminals in an effort to stop construction on a casino that was planned in upstate New York.

This election season, as Trump doled out nicknames to “Little Marco,” “Lyin’ Ted”, and “Crooked Hillary,” he reserved a special one for Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “Pocahontas.”

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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