The FBI released hundreds of pages related to a 1970s housing discrimination lawsuit against Trump
The reports are damning.
A civil-rights lawsuit brought by the Justice Department against Donald Trump and his father Fred Trump in 1973 claimed that African-Americans and Puerto Ricans were prevented from renting apartments from Trump.
The heavily redacted records of dozens of tenants and employees of Trump Management Company provided an overwhelming amount of information on the matter, however, one statement from a rental supervisor stood out:
"I asked Fred Trump what his policy was regarding minorities and he said it was absolutely against the law to discriminate. At a later time … Fred Trump told me not to rent to blacks. He also wanted me to get rid of the blacks that were in the building by telling them cheap housing was available for them at only $500 down payment, which Trump would offer to pay himself. Trump didn’t tell me where this housing was located."
He also gave this account after a colleague received a black couple’s application:
"I thought the black couple would be judged acceptable as tenants based on [employment and weekly salary]. However, [redacted] just told me they’re blacks and and that’s that. I believe that [redacted] and others working at the rental office used a code on the top of the front page of the application to distinguish blacks from whites."
In a separate report from The Washington Post, the government alleged that Trump employees marked minority applicants with codes, such as “No. 9” or “C” for “colored.”
Another interview from a former doorman of a Trump building in Brooklyn provided the following account:
"[Redacted] told me that if a black person came to 2650 Ocean Parkway and inquired about an apartment for rent, and he, that is [redacted] was not there at the time, that I should tell him that the rent was twice as much as it really was, in order that he could not afford the apartment."
Although some of the allegations were damning, the majority of those interviewed in the investigation said they were unaware of discrimination, according to Politico.
Trump eventually filed a $100 million countersuit, accusing the government of defamation, alleging that they were saying “such outrageous lies.” Trump said that although the company wanted to avoid renting to welfare applicants, he’d never discriminated based on race.
In 1975, Trump agreed to a consent decree, whereby no admission of wrongdoing would be given, however, his management company was ordered to take out ads telling ethnic minorities that they were welcome to seek housing at Trump properties.
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