Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trump Celebrates Victory with Fake Trump Steaks and a Big Ole Raft O’ Lies


Who on Earth buys another company's steaks and tries to pass them off as the product of his own long-defunct enterprise, because his ego is far too fragile to EVER admit that some of his business efforts just don’t pan out?

Donald Trump, that's who.

Donald Trump’s bizarre, rambling victory speech-cum-press conference last night was visually punctuated by large tables on either side of him, overflowing with Trump Wine, Trump Champagne, Trump bottled water, and what he claimed were Trump Steaks.  Except, they weren’t. 

It turns out that Donald Trump's lengthy defense of his business acumen contained a lot of other serious whoppers. But first, let’s look at the steaks.

Trump Steaks

Trump himself addressed the steak company in his “speech”:

“Trump Steaks. Where are the steaks? Do we have the steaks? Alright. We have Trump Steaks. [Romney] said ‘The steak company!’ And we have Trump Steaks. And by the way, if you wanna take one, we’ll charge you about, what, fifty bucks a steak.”

According to Yahoo News and former Trump Steaks purveyor The Sharper Image, the premium meats brand hasn’t existed since 2007.  The meats were also sold through home shopping network QVC that year.  That's NINE years ago.

While no steak expert, I’ve kept enough things in the deep freeze for too long (say, a couple of years) to say that those definitely didn’t look like steaks that have been frozen for nine years, if ever.

These couldn't possibly have been Trump Steaks.  So where did they come from?  An alert editor for conservative site Twitchy got a picture of the steaks while still encased in their vacuum-sealed wrapping at last night’s event.

Bush Brothers confirms that the packaging does appear to be theirs.

But the fake Trump steaks were only the tip of the iceberg.  Trump spent fully six minutes of his 22 minute “victory speech” defending a number of his less-than-stellar business efforts (at minutes 6:54 to 12:54.)  He defended the continuing existence of Trump Water and Trump Magazine, highlighted Trump Winery in response to criticism about the failure of Trump Vodka, and ardently maintained that Trump University will restart once he “wins the lawsuit” (he didn’t clarify which of the three pending fraud lawsuits to which he was referring.)

And Trump lied repeatedly in doing so.

“And [Mitt Romney] talked about ‘the water company.’ Well, there’s the water company.  I mean, we sell water. And we have water. And it’s a very successful – y’know, it’s a private, little water company, and I supply the water for all my places, and it’s good, but it’s very good.”

Trump was displaying cases of this vanity-label “Trump Natural Spring Water” (which is bottled by Village Springs Water) as a defense to Romney’s supposed criticism about his failed water company.  In an interesting twist, media reports note Romney didn’t mention the water venture in his speech last week, though, so it’s unclear whether criticism came from other corners, or whether Trump simply assumed the water venture came up.  Because Trump knows dang well he does have a failed bottled water venture: Trump Ice bottled water.  Many former Apprentice fans – including yours truly – recall Trump Ice being featured prominently on the show once or twice.  That enterprise shut down in 2010.

“We have Trump Magazine. Let me see the magazine. [Romney] said, ‘Trump Magazine is out.’ I said, ‘It is? I thought I read one two days ago.’ This comes out and it’s called The Jewel of Palm Beach and it goes to all of my clubs, I’ve had it for many years. And, the magazine is great. Anyone want one? Here. My club champion.”

This is very confusing, since Trump Magazine folded in May 2009, as reported then by 
Gawker and New York Post, and more recently by the New York Daily News in a review of the many iterations of Trump-related periodicals.  Perhaps Mr. Trump just really enjoys reading seven-year-old wealth porn with his name on the cover.

Or perhaps he was being intentionally misleading.

ABC News reports that there is an annual “magazine” called The Jewel of Palm Beachwhich Mr. Trump has published by third party publisher, and distributes at his Florida golf clubs and New York properties.  So sure, he’s still publishing a magazine – sort of.  But Romney was absolutely correct – the general (if limited) circulation Trump Magazine ceased to exist seven years ago.

Trump Winery/Trump Vodka

“By the way the winery, you see the wine. Because [Romney] mentioned Trump Vodka. It’s the largest winery on the East Coast. I own it a hundred percent. No mortgage. No debt. You can all check – you have to go check the records, folks. In fact, the press, I’m asking you please check ... Close to 2,000 acres. … We’re very proud of it. We make the finest wine, as good a wine as you can get anywhere in the world. … Actually, I believe it’s a largest vineyard, and the largest winery on the East Coast.”

Perhaps in days, weeks, and years ahead, this moment will be recalled as Mr. Trump’s Gary Hart Monkey Business Moment.  (In 1988, Mr. Hart was undone by a blustery challenge to the press to investigate rumors of his infidelity. They did so, and uncovered campaign-ending proof of Hart's cheating.)

Fascinatingly, Trump Winery is not owned by Donald at allIt’s not even affiliated with him.  It’s owned by a company bearing the name of Trump’s son, Eric.  The winery website’s Legal page provides an explicit disclaimer:

If you've considered supporting Trump's campaign, are you troubled yet?

“By the way, Trump University? It’s, we’re holding it, when I win the lawsuit, which I’ll win. They did an ad, Rubio did an ad the other day. He had two or three people, and the three people were saying, ‘Oh, it was so terrible.’ The reason I didn’t settle, every one of these people – in fact, we sent ‘em out, and the reporters don’t like to report it – but we sent their letters out, their report cards. Their report cards were all excellent, beautiful statements, ‘we love it.’ You can’t settle cases when the person suing you has given you letters, and in some cases tapes, saying how great it is.

It was a very nice thing. So we’re putting it on hold.  If I become President, that means Ivanka, Don, Eric and my family will start it up. But we have a lot of great people wanna get back into Trump University. It’s gonna do very well. And it will continue to do very well. But we have a lawsuit where they’re trying to get, y’know we have one of these class action lawyers guys, and, and it’s ridiculous, but we’ll win that lawsuit.”

The fraudulent travesty that is Trump University deserves its own post altogether.  But for now, I’ll refer you to some great reporting on it here, here, and here:

You know how Republican politicians are constantly trying to depict themselves as the next Ronald Reagan?  Donald Trump seems to be channeling a very different 80s icon - Saturday Night Live's Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar.

One or two failed business ventures isn’t the end of the world.  Folks who achieve extraordinary success as entrepreneurs often have a very high risk tolerance, and will usually have at least some failures among their many successes. 

What is troubling is the fact that Trump is willing to repeatedly, glaringly LIE about these failures because he cannot tolerate admitting imperfection.  As is the fact that he thought he could spout all of this nonsense and no one would ever notice.  This is not simple big bidness bravado or salesmanship – it’s pathological behavior. 

Add in the constant, extraordinary exaggeration.  The obsessing about minor, petty insults – hello, twenty-eight years of defending the length of his fingers because Graydon Carter called him “stubby fingered”?!?  The wildly swinging back and forth on serious, significant issues, sometimes in the space of mere days or hours.  The moodiness, extreme vindictiveness, and frightening lack of self-control, illustrated by his compulsive mockery, Twitter attacks on hundreds of people, places, and groups, and constant threats of (and actual) litigation for anyone who dares treat him with anything less than worshipful adoration.

Donald Trump has serious mental health issues that are clearly not being treated.  They make him thin-skinned, reactive, and completely unpredictable – in other words, a very dangerous person to put at the helm of not just our government, but the most powerful military in the world.

I’m not a Republican.  Who y’all nominate to be your candidate for President isn’t really my concern.  I support a different candidate, and I expect that with plenty of hard work in the coming months, she’ll be our next President, regardless of who you all run. 

But this sideshow has gone on long enough.  Please, for the love of all that is holy, Republicans, just retire this pre-rehab Charlie Sheen wannabe and his eight levels of crazy and send him back to the sidelines already.

Why wasn't Trump Steaks more successful? 
It seems that Trump Steaks
 weren’t “the world’s greatest steaks,” even though Donald assured us that he “mean[t] that in every sense of the word.”  According to QVC reviewers, they were terrible. Neither tremendous nor luxurious.  They were horrible, horrible things.

QVC has apparently taken down the overwhelmingly bad reviews since a pro-Kasich PAC raided them for a hilarious web commercial.


An intrepid blogger also managed to catalog a number of the scathing 1- and 2-star reviews here before they disappeared from QVC's site.


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