Donald Trump just watched as father slurred black rental applicants, says employee

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, already having weathered innumerable controversies throughout his campaign for the nation's highest office, now stands accused of standing idly by as his father rejected a black rental applicant with a racial slur.

In an interview with NBC News released Wednesday, former rental agent Stanley Leibowitz recalled when New York schoolteacher Annette Gandy Fortt applied to live in a Trump property in 1973.

"Mr. Trump and his son Donald came into the office," Leibowitz told NBC. "I asked what I should do with this application because she's calling constantly and his response to me was, 'You know I don't rent to the N-word. Put it in a drawer and forget about it.'"

"Donald Trump was right alongside his father when I was instructed to do that," Leibowitz added.

Fortt was among those named in a Department of Justice racial discrimination suit against Fred Trump in 1973. The suit was eventually ended when the Trumps signed a consent decree two years later that did not admit guilt.

As part of the settlement, Fortt took an apartment in a Trump building.

"I wasn't interested in suing Trump," she told NBC News. "I wasn't interested in getting money. What I wanted was a place to live ... I think it's important that history not be erased."

In September 2015, the website BoingBoing discovered an archived New York Times article showing Fred Trump was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Jamaica, Queens, in 1927 alongside several members of the hate group. However, searches of other historical sources did not specifically name the elder Trump as a member of the Klan, and it is possible he was arrested as a bystander to the rally. Trump was discharged without facing prosecution.

A 1927 'New York Times' article listing Fred Trump as among those arrested at a Klan riot in Jamaica, Queens that year.
Source: 
New York Times/BoingBoing

When Mic reporters went to the New York City archives in search of police or court records regarding Trump's case, they were told Queens documents from that time period were among the few that had disappeared from government records.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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