The Twenty-Nine Palms Band owns and operates the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, California. Photo: Jreescordmedia

Twenty-Nine Palms Band disputes 'Donald Trump, You're Fired' story

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians did not surprise former partner Donald Trump with "You're Fired" t-shirts, an aide to Chairman Darrell Mike said on Thursday.

The amusing account appeared in The Los Angeles Times on Monday. In it, a former casino executive said tribal members wore the shirts to a meeting as their relationship with the now-Republican presidential nominee began to sour.

But the tribe says the deal didn't go down that way.

"The tribe did NOT surprise him in a meeting wearing 'Donald Trump You’re Fired' T Shirts," said the aide, who was authorized by Chairman Mike to speak on his behalf.

"The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians did part ways from Mr. Trump but there was never any animosity on the tribe’s side," the aide continued. "It was a professional business deal that came to an end."

Donald Trump's signature appears on the final page of a gaming management contract with the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. Source: National Indian Gaming Commission

In 2002, Trump agreed to manage the "Trump 29 Casino" in exchange for 30 percent of the revenues. The final page of the federally-approved contract even bears the real estate mogul's signature.

But the tribe cut Trump loose after three years, just as his gaming enterprise began to fall apart. He didn't walk away empty-handed -- he was paid a total of $19 million for his work, The Palm Springs Desert Sun reported in March under the headline "How Donald Trump got fired by a California casino."

The amount, however, was less than what had been anticipated under the deal.

"Today, looking at it now, we are here and we are doing it ourselves. Sometimes in business things don’t work out so well," Chairman Mike told The Desert Sun.

With Trump out of the picture, the Spotlight 29 Casino has continued to thrive. A second facility, the Tortoise Rock Casino, opened in 2014.

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