The Trump Files: Guess Who Gave Donald His Big Awards

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 frequently boasts of his hotels and golf resorts, and it’s true that they have won awards. The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences has given Trump at least 19 Diamond awards, which it calls “the most prestigious emblem of achievement and true quality in the world today,” for his various properties, according to journalist David Cay Johnston in his book The Making of Donald Trump. It also gave his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland, a prize as “the best golf course worldwide.”

All of which sounds impressive. Except that the board of the Academy consisted mostly of Trump’s employees, friends, and family members.

“A majority of the trustees bestowing these awards on Trump and his properties were Trump’s employees, friends, or retainers,” Johnston writes. Two of his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, served on the board of trustees, according to the Associated Press. Trump’s former butler of 17 years, the subject of a Mother Jones story earlier this year for calling on Facebook for President Barack Obama to be “hung for treason,” was also a trustee. Trump himself served on the board and was listed as the Academy’s “ambassador extraordinaire.”

The president of the Academy, Joseph Cinque (a.k.a. Joey No Socks), is a convicted felon with alleged ties to organized crime.

In May, Trump denied having any connection to the organization in an interview with Yahoo News, saying, “I mean, I receive awards from different places sometimes, but I’m not involved in it. How am I involved in it?”

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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