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US Congressman Joe Kennedy III

Bobby Kennedy, Teddy Kennedy, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Bobby Kennedy’s grandson, US Congressman Joe Kennedy III, gave the response to Trump’s State of the Union address: https://kennedy.house.gov/media/press-releases/kennedy-to-deliver-democratic-response-to-state-of-the-union-address https://www.voanews.com/a/text-of-representative-joe-kennedy-democratic-response-to-state-of-the-union-speech-/4232431.html

Bobby Kennedy went after mobsters-organized crime and Trump’s mentor-lawyer Roy Cohn was a lawyer for major mobsters.[1] However, their dislike for each other was apparently older. Old as sin, perhaps? When discussing Bobby Kennedy’s investigation of labor and organized crime Ruth Young Watt, Chief Clerk, said that “This was good over evil“.

Trump’s biographer, Wayne Barrett, called Trump Lawyer and Mentor Roy Cohn “incandescent evil“: “there’s no question that next to Fred Trump, Roy Cohn was the single greatest influence in Donald’s life. And Roy is incandescent evil. I mean, I would sit with him, and I—you know, it was enough to make you rush back to church, the Satanic feeling that he would give you.” (Trump biographer Wayne Barrett, DemocracyNow interview, July 05, 2016 ) [2]

Roy Cohn asked then FBI director Hoover if he could give Jimmy Hoffa FBI files on Bobby Kennedy (RFK files), and with the permission of Hoover did so. [3]

This raises additional questions as to who Trump is covering for by not releasing all of the JFK files? Is he covering up Roy Cohn’s and/or organized crime involvement? Trump appears long linked to organized crime, including Russian organized crime, at least indirectly. What about Trump’s father?


Ruth Watt, standing, distributes documents to members of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Seated, left to right, Senators Sam Ervin and John McClellan, Counsel Robert Kennedy, Chief Counsel Jerome Adlerman, and Senators Karl Mundt and Carl Curtis. Senate Historical Office

Watt: “Well, there were certain people he didn’t care for particularly… There were three over the years that I knew he had no use for. One was Roy Cohn. One was Bobby Baker. And the other was Jimmy Hoffa. Those were his three pet hates… And as far as Roy Cohn, there was no question about his dislike for him when the McCarthy hearings started. Why, I don’t know. You asked me last time whether I thought it was because they were so much alike. I don’t think there was any resemblance, I think it was just a natural antagonism and where it started, I don’t know….
Ritchie: What was your opinion of Hoffa? You must have seen a lot of him.
Watt: Oh, yes…Of course, I was prejudiced, naturally… I was prejudiced that he was a wheeler-dealer and was, we thought, part of the mob….
Ritchie: I wondered, because you see all the performances in the news and on television, I wondered if the relations between people changed at all when the cameras were turned off.
Watt: Oh, it was the same. It’s not the same as on the floor of the Senate, but this was not politics. This was good over evil!!! It was a sincere thing….
” (Ruth Young Watt Chief Clerk, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 1948-1979)

More extensive excerpts from “Ruth Young Watt Chief Clerk, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 1948-1979 , Interview #4: Chairman McClellan and the Labor Rackets Committee (October 5, 1979) Interviewed by Donald A. Ritchie, United States Senate Historical Office — Oral History Project http://www.senate.gov

Ritchie: Did you notice a change in Robert Kennedy from his earlier years until he became chief counsel? Was he more harder working?
Watt: Oh, yes, very. And very astute. He was a smart, smart man. He had his prejudices, of course.
Ritchie: What do you mean?
Watt: Well, there were certain people he didn’t care for particularly.
Ritchie: You mean people on the staff?
Watt: There were three over the years that I knew he had no use for. One was Roy Cohn. One was Bobby Baker. And the other was Jimmy Hoffa. Those were his three pet hates.
Ritchie: And he really showed it.
Watt: Oh yes, he made no bones about it.
Ritchie: This was when Bobby Baker was still majority secretary of the Senate. What was it that caused their split? What did you see? page 169

Watt: Well, I was not aware of this until later. I knew that he was really out to get Jimmy Hoffa, let’s face it. And as far as Roy Cohn, there was no question about his dislike for him when the McCarthy hearings started. Why, I don’t know. You asked me last time whether I thought it was because they were so much alike. I don’t think there was any resemblance, I think it was just a natural antagonism and where it started, I don’t know…. page 170 ….

Ritchie: During the Rackets Committee hearings you had a lot of pretty tough characters testifying. You had Dave Beek, and Jimmy Hoffa, but you also had Vito Genovese . . .
Watt: Oh, he was the scariest one. He was the only one that really frightened me.
Ritchie: In what way?
Watt: I would stand in back of where the senators were when he was testifying, and he had the coldest eyes. He would look right through you and just make chills. He was about the coldest individual I think I’ve ever seen. We had the Gallo brothers, I think one of them was murdered.
page 183
….
Ritchie: Talking about some of those witnesses like Vito Genovese and Johnny Dio Dioguardia and all the others, did you ever fear for any physical violence?

Watt: No, never. I think it’s true that they take care of their own when things don’t go right, but not anybody else. I don’t think that anybody had anything to fear.
Ritchie: I noticed a picture of Johnny Dio punching a photographer outside the hearing room.
Watt: New York Times, yes. Somewhere I have a picture of that….page 186
…..
Ritchie: Well, with the Rackets Committee alone you had some 1,500 witnesses…
Ritchie: But you were in the papers quite frequently at that time. I’ve seen pictures of you handing subpoenas to Dave Beck and to Jimmy Hoffa. There seemed to be a little humor there as well, some of the characters went to great lenghts not to answer the questions.
Watt: Oh, yes. Jimmy Hoffa was famous for that. He never claimed the Fifth Amendment, but would say, “I can’t recall,” and so-on. page 190

Ritchie: What was your opinion of Hoffa? You must have seen a lot of him.

Watt: Oh, yes. It felt as though he lived with the staff in the day time, during the hearings. He was back and forth, even after the Rackets Committee was over he was back before the subcommittee in 1961.

Of course, I was prejudiced, naturally, so I really didn’t have the right focus on him as a person. I was prejudiced that he was a wheeler-dealer and was, we thought, part of the mob…. page 191

if the relations between people changed at all when the cameras were turned off. Watt: Oh, it was the same. It’s not the same as on the floor of the Senate, but this was not politics. This was good over evil!!! It was a sincere thing. Everybody was trying to do a job. With the Teamsters Union I’ve heard it said that they don’t care because they get their increases and they are interested only in a good living for their families. They don’t know what’s going on at the top. They’re paying in their dues and getting their benefits and that’s it–the welfare benefits, sickness, and their salary.

Ritchie: I’ve heard that it was very hard to collect evidence on them because they destroyed so much of their paperwork.

Watt: Maybe they did, but we had an awful lot of files sitting in there. One time I think there was half a roomful of things that came in. I had to testify to that. Officially, I was responsible for them to be turned in, of course I never saw them, the investigators were the ones who did, but as chief clerk I page 192
was responsible officially…. page 193 … But we also had some very well-known underworld characters at that point.
Ritchie: It seemed like the whole mob was down there.
Watt: Yes, as time went on. I got used to all these strange names. And we had so many labor unions, the Teamsters was the biggest one, but we had the Bakers, and the Steamfitters, and all kinds of them.
Ritchie: I noticed a clipping in the paper that the reporters depended on you to spell all the names for them.
Watt: Yes, I’ve always done that. If I didn’t have the spelling in front of me–the investigators used to sometimes make a list of the spelling if they had time, and sometimes we would hand them out–but most of the time there would be some question and I’d take a note to the senators if I could. I was more or less of a liaison, or a housekeeper, let’s put it that way. I kept away from the political and the controversial, there was no point to it, my job was not to ask the reason why.
Ritchie: The Rackets Committee had some interesting members, in fact it made a lot of reputations for John Kennedy and Barry Goldwater and others page 195

because of all the exposure they got from it. What were they like back then? Was there anybody in particular on the Rackets Committee that impressed you?
Watt: I thought they all were pretty outstanding. Senator McClellan, Senator Mundt–well, he had made his name as chairman of the Army-McCarthy hearings–Senator John Kennedy even before that.
Ritchie: John Kennedy was on the Government Operations Committee but not on the Permanent Investigating Subcommittee.
Watt: That’s right, but he was on the Rackets Committee because he was on Labor. I didn’t have that much contact with Senator Jack Kennedy. I saw him in Hyannis Port once, and I saw him at the Rackets Committee, but he was not there every day. Bob made sure that when there was going to be publicity he came, and some days we didn’t have that much. Bob was, after all, going to become chairman of the campaign for the presidency, and that helped him a lot… page 196
Ritchie: Eventually when Robert Kennedy came back to the Senate, he was on the Government Operations Committee, but he never got on the Permanent Investigating Subcommittee, did he?
Watt: Yes, he was on the full committee, but he asked not to be put on the subcommittee.
Ritchie: Why was that?
Watt: Well, after all he had been chief counsel and had all those people. He had other fish to fry anyway. page 202

Ritchie: I would have though that after all his connections with the subcommittee he would have wanted to serve on it.
Watt: Well, it probably would have brought back some pretty hard memories because he had been through so much with the assassination of his brother. He’d been there in the happier days, his growing up days really because he really matured during those years on the committee. He became anadult.
Ritchie: You saw a real change in him?
Watt: Yes, I watched him grow up. I feel as though I brought him up! Because he was only 25 when he came and I was already in my forties. I was old enough to be his mother.
Ritchie: Did you see very much of him when he came back as a senator?
Watt: No. Then as far as I was concerned he was “Senator Kennedy.” Our relationship changed and I felt no personal affinity to him at all, because I’ve never done that. Pierre Salinger was a senator for a few months, you remember, when Clare Engle died, and he was on the full committee. ” page 203
….
Ritchie: I noticed that in a short biography you once did, you said that while the Army McCarthy hearings were the most spectacular hearings that took place while you were with the committee, that you thought the Rackets Committee hearings were the most interesting. What did you mean by that?
Watt: I think it was probably the people that I worked with. They just made it more interesting to me. The staff that was around when Senator McCarthy was chairman, they were all gung-ho as far as communism was concerned and were interested in hearings one after the other, but there wasn’t the preparation that went into them that went on later during the Rackets Committee. And I worked more closely with the chief counsel during the Rackets Committee. One reason was that while Roy Cohn was counsel he had his office down in the HOLC Building, and I was never down there. All I did then was to go to a hearing knowing there were certain witnesses I would have to write up subpoeanas for, or on another day I was going to have to pay them. But I knew nothing about the content of the hearings because it was remote, it was way off somewhere else. So I was not involved page 207

with the preparation. I was in Room 101 during the Rackets Committee, which was the center of activity, so I knew everything that was going on–and that makes a lot of difference. The witnesses were in and out; and I would hear discussions and briefings and so on; whereas I was not involved in it during the Army McCarthy days because the HOLC Building was about three blocks away.

Ritchie: So would you say that Robert Kennedy made better use of the staff than Roy Cohn did?
Watt: Well, his investigators yes, but I was clerical, you see. Of course, there were two girls working down in HOLC that did all the work for Dave Shine and Roy. I may be unfair, but I don’t think he put the preparation into a hearing that Senator McClellan and Bob Kennedy did. Because Bob never went into a hearing when he wasn’t well prepared. His people worked all night sometimes. I’ve come in in the mornings and found investigators who slept on the floor all night, who worked until 4 or 5 and just went to sleep on the floor. And there they were in the morning when we got to work, There was a dedication there, complete dedication. I’m not sure that was there during the earlier hearings, page 207….
Bob went into everything very carefully, and he had a larger staff. There were 46 on that Rackets Committee and there were only two minority people out of the 46. It wasn’t until 1973 that we started getting bigger staffs for the minority. But Bob just did a magnificent job. He kept the senators briefed. Of course, it got political with the senators themselves as time went on, but at the staff level, politics wasn’t discussed. [End of Interview #4] page 209
United States Senate Historical Office — Oral History Project http://www.senate.gov

Emphasis our own. Original here: https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/watt_interview_4.pdf

[1] “Cohn had a 30-year career as an attorney in New York City. His clients included Donald Trump, Mafia figures Tony Salerno, Carmine Galante, and John Gotti, Studio 54 owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager“. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn
[2] https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/trumps-greatest-mentor-roy-cohn-was-attorney-for-nyc-mob-families-and-red-baiting-aide-to-joe-mccarthy-wayne-barrett-rip-january-19-2017-interview/
[3] According to a Roy Cohn interview for “A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy“, 1998, by David Heyman and quoted at Spartacus Educational, Hoffa and Cohn would sometimes eat together. Cohn asked then FBI director Hoover if he could give Jimmy Hoffa FBI files on Bobby Kennedy (RFK files), and with the permission of Hoover did so.