"Mr. Trump believes in putting your oxygen mask on first before helping others": Watch Katrina Pierson's desperate attempt to defend Trump's bankruptcies

After Hillary Clinton went after Trump's casino record in Atlantic City, Pierson took to CNN with her best spin yet

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 6, 2016 8:23PM (EDT)

Katrina Pierson, Wolf Blitzer (Credit: CNN)
Katrina Pierson, Wolf Blitzer (Credit: CNN)

"He got rich and got out."

That, in summary, is how Donald Trump's top campaign spokesperson defended her boss against rival Hillary Clinton's latest line of attack declaring Trump's casino dealings in Atlantic City, New Jersey, an abysmal failure.

On Wednesday, Clinton traveled to the oceanside gambling mecca to spotlight Trump’s serial casino bankruptcies, arguing that he left a wake of destruction while enriching himself.

“He always rigged it so he got paid no matter how his companies performed,” Clinton said on the boardwalk next to the former Trump Plaza casino, and only steps away from where employees at Trump's Taj Mahal were on strike.

Trump opened three new casinos in Atlantic City starting in the early 1980s and ran two separate public companies that operated casinos in the city. But a recent USA Today investigation found that Trump’s casinos repeatedly broke New Jersey state rules and were fined more than a million dollars. A Wall Street Journal investigation earlier this year showed that Trump made a net profit of $160 million in between 1990 and 1996, even as his casinos all went through bankruptcy-court proceedings.

Clinton pointed out that Trump has bragged about being "the King of Debt" and highlighted the numerous lawsuits filed against him. “For many years I took money out of Atlantic City,” Trump said in an interview last year. “The money I made in Atlantic City fueled a lot of projects.”

"Many of those lawsuits were filed by ordinary Americans who worked for Donald Trump and never got paid. Painters, waiters, plumbers, people who needed the money they earned and didn't get it. Not because Donald Trump couldn't pay, but because he wouldn't," Clinton said on Wednesday:

Appearing on CNN following Clinton's blistering assault against Trump's business record, spokesperson Katrina Pierson made no attempt to sugarcoat her boss' record.

"[H]e thinks that's something to be proud of," the controversial spokesperson bizarrely told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "That says everything you need to know about Donald Trump."

"Mr. Trump had four bankruptcies on the business side," Pierson explained. "Never a personal bankruptcy. A lot of times, you have to use restructures to preserve jobs."

"Mr. Trump believes in putting your oxygen mask on first before helping others."

Trump, himself, went on the defensive after Clinton's speech, releasing a statement and appearing on Fox News' "The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson," hours after it was announced that the host and 11-year Fox News veteran had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

“It is an effective and commonly used practice in business to use bankruptcy proceedings to restructure a business and ultimately save jobs. Nobody understands the economy like I do and no one, especially not Crooked Hillary Clinton, will do more for the economy than I will,” Trump said in the statement.

Still, however, Trump did not get the last word. Clinton's rapid response team quickly tweeted out its own amended version of Trump's statement:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Donald Trump Election 2016 Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Katrina Pierson Trump Casino Video