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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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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