Donald Trump has made a lot of noise during his campaign about his genius as a businessman, specifically a builder. He'll rebuild America, the same way he rebuilt the Wollman ice rink and helped make Atlantic City (uh maybe ignore that one). Of course, having made his name in the construction industry, Donald Trump's law and order bonafides could take a bit of a hit, since as the Wall Street Journal points out, Trump had to deal with a number of mobbed-up individuals and just kind of pretend they weren't mob-connected.

The deep dive into Trump's mob connections takes a look at his old history of essentially sticking his fingers in his ears and yelling "LA LA LA LA LA" when someone would tell him one associate or another had mob connections. While the Journal points out that not dealing with mob-connected people was almost impossible for anyone in construction in the 70s and 80s, they did say it was possible to not directly negotiate with them by using a general contractor. Trump, though?

"Mr. Trump said he preferred to negotiate business matters personally, because he made more money that way."

This meant, for instance, that Trump dealt personally with two mob-linked figures when opening his first Atlantic City casino. Kenneth Shapiro, widely known as an "agent" of the Philadelphia mob's Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, and Daniel Sullivan, a Teamster and known associate of mobsters, co-owned a site that Trump needed for his casino. According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump negotiated with them directly to lease the land and told a New Jersey regulatory agency that "They are not bad people from what I see," in 1982.

Trump's connection to Shapiro was scrutinized again in 1984. Shapiro told a grand jury that he funneled thousands of dollars in contributions from Trump to Atlantic City mayor Michael J. Matthews, who Trump was barred from contributing to on his own because of his casino ownership. While Trump denied the charge, telling the Journal "I'm not interested in giving cash, OK?", Shapiro's brother Barry said that Trump never reimbursed Kenneth for his illegal contributions on Trump's behalf. Trump refusing to pay a bill is of course, more believable than Trump not being interested in donating money to politicians.

There was also the case of Robert LiButti, a major horse race gambler who talked about John Gotti as his "boss" and was a major gambler at Trump Plaza in the late 80s. Trump denied having anything to do with LiButti in an interview with the paper, but LiButti's daughter told Yahoo that she rode on Trump's helicopter and yacht, and that Trump came to her 35th birthday party. "I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me," she told the site earlier this year.

And while most of Trump's mob connections happened back in the 1980s, the Journal also brought up the case of Felix Sater, who worked with Bayrock Group, a real estate company that leased space in Trump Tower. Bayrock helped Trump brand his name on properties like the Trump SoHo condos and a Florida hotel, and the Journal reports Sater described himself as the number two person in the company. Sater also had been convicted in 1998 as part of a Mafia-linked boiler room scheme.

Added up, it doesn't suggest that Trump knows where the bodies are buried. On the other hand, for a man who's been making his case that as a businessman and political neophyte he'll just hire the right people to help him make decisions, it's part of a pattern of a startling lack of vetting by the man. But hey, I'm sure that when he needs contractors and cheap labor for his big beautiful wall he'll do the the most fabulous vetting we've ever seen.