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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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