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
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.