John Byrne, AlterNet Finance

Mark Cuban compares Trump to fictional mobster Tony Soprano: The minute you aren't loyal 'you get whacked'

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In an exclusive interview with Raw Story's Mike Rogers and Shannyn Moore — the co-hosts of Raw Story's new weekly podcast — Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of television's Shark Tank, unloads on Donald Trump, likening him to Tony Soprano and suggesting that his presidency may serve as "political chemotherapy," a reset of America's party "duopoly." "After military service and paying your taxes, the most patriotic thing that you can do is un-affiliate with any political party, regardless of which one," Cuban tells Raw Story. "That duopoly — the Republicans and the Democrats — is the greatest undermining of our political system, ever, more so than Donald Trump. Donald Trump is political chemotherapy." "If we can't withstand Donald Trump," Cuban says, "then we really have to question our political system and its foundation, but I think Trump is more a symptom of this duopoly we have." Cuban also likened Trump to the mob boss of the popular HBO drama, "The Sopranos." "He doesn’t care about actual knowledge," he says. Trump "cares about connections and relationships. It’s no different than Tony Soprano, if you watch The Sopranos. As long as you are useful to me you are of value, as long as you are loyal, you are of value. The minute you aren’t you get whacked." "It’s why he’s so close to family, that’s why you never hear about business partners that he invested in or gave money to and trusted," he adds. "You never hear of anyone he mentored or someone he helped in business. You never hear those stories at all, that’s because he’s more like Tony Soprano than anything else. The minute you are not of use to him, you are whacked." "Just look at Trump University and how he sold there, that is exactly how he is selling to the American people," Cuban continues. "He created this target and said 'I am going to give you a piece of paper, a graduation certificate that says you are able to buy and sell real estate if you pay me $25,000.'" "In the end that certificate was worthless; he didn’t even know who was doing the teaching or what was being taught and he didn’t care," he adds. "He was just about closing the sale and his approach to politics is just the same way. He finds these bogeymen, or he finds this aspirational thing for people who really have these concerns and it’s not that the people he is selling to, that their concerns aren’t valid, it’s just that he doesn’t care what those concerns are. He just tried to take advantage of them and that’s what he did with Trump University. And that is what he’s tried to do in politics." The Dallas Mavericks owner also lauds ranked choice voting as a system that might have avoided Trump winning the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. Raw Story hosts Mike Rogers and Shannyn Moore also talk to Cuban about his involvement with H. Ross Perot's presidential campaign and the seating of Justice Amy Corey Barrett on the Supreme Court. Subscribe and listen to The Raw Story Podcast here: Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts Click here to listen on Spotify Click here to listen on Google Podcasts (The Raw Story Podcast is produced by Raw Story Media and is editorially independent from RawStory.com.)

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