Donald Trump and Matt Schlapp Casino. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

Trump Backs Schlapp’s Opposition to Competitors Casino Bill

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President Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning to urge House Republicans not to support a little known House Bill scheduled for vote Wednesday. He also linked the bill to Democrat Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The Daily Beast explains that President Trump’s weighing in on a bill that would grant “rights to a Native American tribe seeking a casino in Massachusetts,” seemed random, given it was introduced in January of 2019, but it might not have been random at all.

At least, “two Trump-connected firms were hired this year to lobby on behalf of Twin River Management Group, which owns a casino in Rhode Island that would directly compete with one planned by the Mashpee Wampanoag. The tribe needs Congress to enshrine its tribal rights in order to rescue the troubled casino deal in nearby Taunton, Massachusetts.”

One of those companies, Cove Strategies, is run by Matt Schlapp the head of both the ACU and CPAC, he is also the husband of White House Communications Director, Mercedes Schlapp. The company has received “$30,000 for it’s work so far this year.”

Cover Strategies has been lobbying both Congress and the White House since January of this year.

The second President Trump connected firm is Black Diamond Strategies, who “assigned Doug Davenport, a Trump 2016 campaign adviser, to work on the account.”

Black Diamond also employees, “former Trump campaign hand Rick Wiley and former Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL), a Trump administration ally. Black Diamond was also paid $30,000 during the first quarter of 2019.”

An hour before President Trump tweeted his opposition to the bill, Schlapp tweeted his own opposition to the bill.

Politico reports that Democratic leaders pulled two tribal bills “from the House floor Wednesday to avoid their failure after President Donald Trump — echoing complaints from the conservative media — urged Republicans to oppose the legislation.”

This move follows 24 hours of drama surrounding the tribal bills, that led to conflict “during a Republican leadership meeting Tuesday night, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) argued with Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, over the legislation, according to multiple sources. The issue also came up at a GOP-wide caucus meeting, with some members complaining that the bills were being rushed to the floor.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who is Chair of the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, responded to President Trump’s tweet via Twitter.

This is not President Trump’s first time opposing Indian Casinos. In 1993 he sued the government lamenting how come Indian Casinos don’t pay taxes, going so far as to say “they don’t look Indian to me,” during Congressional testimony.