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Donald Trump Thinks Asbestos is "100% Safe"

No stranger to controversial remarks, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump claimed in his 1997 book,The Art of the Comeback, that asbestos is “100% safe” and has gotten "a bad rap.” According to Mr. Trump, there is an anti-asbestos conspiracy, and that the movement to remove asbestos was actually the handiwork of the mafia.

“I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented. Millions of truckloads of this incredible fire-proofing material were taken to special "dump sites" and asbestos was replaced by materials that were supposedly safe but couldn't hold a candle to asbestos in limiting the ravages of fire.”

If you think this is old news, in 2012 Trump tweeted that the World Trade Center would never have burned down if the towers had been built with asbestos. Yes, asbestos is a fire retardant, but the Donald has his facts mixed up once again – the towers did not burn down, they collapsed.

Furthermore, an analysis of the dust that blanketed a region of several square miles following the towers collapse revealed four percent asbestos in some areas.

Donald Trump’s remarks during this campaign season have proven offensive to Muslims, Mexicans and women, to name a few. To the hundreds of thousands of American families affected by asbestos cancer, Mr. Trump’s comments that asbestos is “100% safe” and has gotten “a bad rap” callously ignore the relentless and debilitating suffering caused by asbestos.

When vetting a candidate, one typically looks to the candidate’s voting record on important issues. As a businessman, Mr. Trump has no voting record. But his record of statements ignoring the proven dangers of asbestos and the suffering it has caused countless Americans for over 50 years, speaks volumes of how he would handle asbestos issues during his presidency.

This blog has reported on asbestos industry-backed legislation aimed at limiting the rights of asbestos sufferers. First there was the FAIR act which would have done away with asbestos personal injury lawsuits altogether. Then there was the FACT act which would have imposed substantial obstacles to asserting asbestos claims. These and other measures have been narrowly defeated, aided most recently by the current administration’s vow to veto any such law that reaches the president’s desk. If Mr. Trump is elected, it is almost certain that these measures will be re-introduced.

Mr. Trump has displayed an outright refusal to admit that he was wrong about statements and dealings in his past--instead “doubling-down” on the position, no matter how offensive. If elected, it is a virtual certainty that, in addition to a wall along the Mexican border, Mr. Trump will build a wall protecting asbestos companies from victims’ claims.

Read more of “The Trump Files” at MotherJones.com.

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