Friday, March 25, 2011

Trump wasn’t the biggest fly in the ointment in the 2009 Gaddafi rent-a-space fiasco

All of America has heard Donald Trump’s schick about “screwing” Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Please do not puke on your computer as I repeat Trump’s self-congratulatory “screwing” of Qaddafi. Boasting to Fox and Friends, Trump said, "I rented him a piece of land. He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for two years, and then I didn't let him use the land," Trump boasted. "That's what we should be doing. I don't want to use the word 'screwed', but I screwed him."

 We all know it was pressure that forced Trump to renege on the deal. That was a hoot-and-holler moment for the opinionated kowtows at Fox. Trump got the agreeable snickering that he wanted from his adoring audience on Fox and Friends. Asked why he reneged on the Qaddafi deal, he replied vaingloriously, “. . . because I wanted to.”

As a presidential candidate in 2012, Trump broadcasted to the world how intelligent he is. How business savvy he is. How he knows how to drive negotiations. His present and third wife would make a lovely first lady, he said.

Throwing a hatchet at President Obama, Trump said his classmates still remember him, unlike the school mates of Barack Obama. His regurgitation of the Barack Obama Birther Fairytale was not shocking. Trump may be rich but he is not too lofty and proud to pander for votes, falling in line with Teabegging Republicans.

I am not shocked at Trump’s claim about the Qaddafi rent-a-space deal. I am not surprised at how easily he lied. I remember the brouhaha about the Libyan dictator finding a place to stay in the U.S.  Regarding this situation, Trump has been telling a bald face lie and he knows it. He “screwed” Qaddafi in that he pocketed a great deal of money, but he was not the biggest fly in the ointment. Always the man out front, Trump makes himself the untouchable hero in the art of the deal.

Qaddafi was coming to America to attend the United States General Assembly conference. No hotels were willing to accommodate him. He wanted to pitch his Bedouin style tent on the grounds of the Libyan Embassy in Englewood, New Jersey, but authorities and residents raised the roof by protesting. In steps Donald Trump. He rents Muammar Qaddafi a large parcel of land that he owned in Bedford, New York, 45 miles from New York City.

When the flack caught up with Trump, his spokeswoman explained that Trump and his associates had businesses and associates all over the world. She denied that a deal had been cut with Qaddafi’s people directly. Supposedly Trump was renting land to Middle Eastern partners, and they apparently (unbeknownst to him) transferred their rights to Qaddafi. Go figure that one!

An attorney in Bedford, authorities and residents were having none of this tenting where they lived. A stop order was issued. A city ordinance said it is illegal to build a temporary residence without a permit. The tent was declared an illegal structure.

Americans were still outraged that Qaddafi was responsible for the Pan Am bombing. On the other hand, Trump, the billionaire,  smelled bread in the oven. He was not going to miss getting a slice of it by hook or crook. Apparently he was already predisposed to “screwing” Qaddafi, seeing that no hotels wanted him their establishments; nor was New York city willing to let him to camp on public land.

So Donald Trump, in his egotistical, braggadocios manner, made an easy profit. But he lied through the top of swooped over hair. The media, so far, have neglected to disabuse Trump of this falsehood. Maybe they believe him. Maybe they are amused by him. Maybe they do not want to dirty the water, jumping the gun before Donald Trump officially declares himself a presidential candidate.

Not surprisingly, Trump is boasting that, as president, he will not negotiate with world leaders in an amicable way. He thinks he can shake his finger in their face and simply declare: “I just screwed you! You’re fired! Now get the hell out of here!”

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