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The Twisted Gay Man Who Made Donald Trump

On October 16, 1973 the public first met Donald J Trump with the headline “Major Landlord Accused Of Anti- Black Bias” splashed across the cover of the New York Times.

For the next two decades, Trump was represented by Roy Cohn, a closeted gay, right-wing lawyer who taught him all the tricks that would later help him lie, intimidate and bully his way into the US Presidency. Feature by Andrew M Potts.

A rare image of Cohn and Trump together, possibly at the opening of Trump Tower.


In 1973 a 27-year-old Donald Trump, fresh in the public eye, needed a lawyer and fast.

Managing his father’s property empire of more than 14,000 apartments across the New York boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island had landed him in hot water with the US Justice Department over allegations that his company had violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against African-American renters.

After receiving complaints, the Justice Department had sent white and black “testers” to apply to rent apartments in more than a dozen buildings owned by the Trump Management Corporation and found that black applicants were either falsely told that apartments were no longer available when they applied to rent them or were offered different rental terms and conditions to whites.

“The government contended that Trump Management had refused to rent or negotiate rentals ‘because of race and colour,’ ” the New York Times reported in October of that year.

“The company… had misrepresented to blacks that apartments were not available.”

Trump’s response to the charges? “They are absolutely ridiculous,” he told the Times. “We never have discriminated, and we never would.”

Trump had just 20 days to respond to the Justice Department’s charges against the company. He turned to the notorious anti-communist witchhunter turned New York power lawyer, Roy Cohn.

Trump first met Cohn at the exclusive Le Club on New York’s East Side where both were members. Cohn advised Trump to hit back hard against the government with a countersuit demanding $100 million dollars – a ridiculous sum of money in the 1970s: over half-a-billion in today’s dollars.

Cohn also called up the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division and demanded that the lawyer who had brought the case be fired. The threat was not well received, but they knew Trump and Cohn meant business now.

The judge eventually dismissed the countersuit as a waste of time and the Trump Management Corporation settled the case with the Justice Department two years later – but Trump avoided any admission of personal culpability in the agreement.

Trump claimed the settlement as a victory to the New York Times because it did not require the Trump Management Corporation to “accept persons on welfare as tenants unless as qualified as any other tenant”.

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About DNA Magazine

DNA #204 – Travel Issue We name our top 20 travel destinations for 2017 including the must-do circuit parties, pride events, gay ski weeks, gay rodeos and, of course, Eurovision. We take you to the ancient world of Petra and indulge in a five-star Paris experience. The latest travel trend is “Togethering” and we tell you all about that and why the gays love it! Plus we send two princesses on a budget backpacking trip through Indonesia… without a hair dryer! In fashion, we check out the latest from Marco Marco and the super sexy David John Craig bares all including his cheeky side in a photo shoot by the talented Chan Andre. Meet Chansey Paech, Australia’s first out Indigenous MP in parliament, our fitness guru Justin gives you tips on how to become more f*ckable, and we take a look at Roy Cohn, the closeted gay, right-wing lawyer who taught Donald Trump all the tricks that would help him lie, intimidate and bully his way into the US Presidency. On the cover, Calum Winsor, our favourite golden boy, returns to our pages to claim the cover.