7 WTF Trump Businesses You Never Knew About
Recently, it was revealed that the entire Trump Organization had lost 90 percent of the value it had in 2010. 90 percent. If you lose 90 percent of anything, you shouldn't be allowed to say you still have it -- which, in Trump's case, is "worth." But this roller coaster of resources is nothing new. If there's anything the Trump brand has been consistently known for, it's failure. You probably know about Trump Steaks, Trump University, Trump Casinos, and Trump the President, but there are so many other business-shaped skeletons in his closet that he has to stack them on top of the bankruptcy papers he also hides in there. For example, did you hear about ...
Trump Takeover, aka "Toon Trump"
Donald Trump has always had a cartoonish quality about him, like a Daddy Warbucks who won't accept that he's bald and accuses objectively innocent black teenagers of rape. So it's strange that Trump doesn't have a small-screen representation of himself running around and causing mischief. But that isn't for lack of trying.
Trump Takeover would have been an animated series focused on Trump fighting for truth, justice, and social causes -- a social justice warrior, if you will. With help from his Apprentice cronies, Trump would take over an ailing part of society in crisis and fix whatever is plaguing it. For example, "Strike 3 ... You're Fired" takes places in an America, where MLB is on a "downward slide to oblivion" and Donny has to make sure the players are up and ready.
Another episode, "Taking Stock Of The Market," sees Trump and friends take over the world economy in order to halt the evil machinations of a "nefarious global financial conspiracy," with a script which no doubt had a lot of triple parentheses around certain characters' names.
Eventually, in the depressingly prescient "Politically Corrected" episode, Trump would have had to take over the United States (in a "state of virtual collapse," no less) and fix all of its problems, presumably by retweeting hate speech and making war widows cry.
The closest this series ever came to airing was when some studio exec presumably threw the storyboards across the room in disgust. Artwork was drawn and episodes were drafted (including a bizarre romp involving aliens attacking NYC), but the project folded due to an overwhelming lack of interest. Times have changed, however, and with Stephen Colbert threatening to create a Trump cartoon, one of the bigwigs behind Trump Takeover recently said that they wouldn't mind a second crack at the title. But it's hard to see how the man itself could find the time to be involved, now that he spends all of his time getting publicly owned by the shadow government.
Trump Shuttle, aka "Falling With Style!"
In October 1988, Donald Jagerbomb Trump, sick of flying private like a prole, decided to treat himself and buy an airline. He acquired Eastern Air Shuttle, a struggling New York company which provided daily flights for high-powered businessmen -- and Trump. Wanting to own everything that screamed "New York" and "failing," he bought the airline, renamed it "Trump Shuttle," and immediately broke the two cardinal rules of the airline industry: He kept telling people other airlines were dangerous, then made his own planes more dangerous.
During the Trump Shuttle launch party in 1989, Trump, like any gracious host, started out by badmouthing the competition. In a jumbled rant, he told reporters that Pan Am (his closest competitor) was a danger to life, limb, and luggage, saying, "I wouldn't fly them; they're losing money and their planes are old." Unfortunately for Trump, a man who couldn't even strong-arm a baby for their candy, the airline business runs a little like the Mob. You don't start saying that other airlines are dangerous, or else you'll wake up with a propeller in your bed. Sure enough, three months later, a Trump Shuttle flying into Boston encountered mechanical problems and nearly crashed into the runaway, saved by the skills of the pilot.
Not that Pan Am had anything to do with that. Trump was more than capable of sabotaging himself. The cause of the crash was a problem with the landing gear, but we'd like to think the plane was struggling under the weight of all of Trump's modifications. After taking over, he redesigned the interior of his planes according to his, for lack of a better word, taste, installing everything from thick carpeting and leather seats to faux marble sinks and veneer paneling. The in-flight service was also expanded to include a three-drink service and a gourmet breakfast/lunch, which was incredibly difficult for the stewardesses to serve in the average time of each flight (approximately 45 minutes). Oh, and because it wouldn't be a Trump thing if it wasn't creepy to women, he also redesigned the stewardesses' outfits to show more cleavage. Overstuffed and sexist -- now you're flying with Trump!
Apparently, Trump wanted his airline to have "the look of old money," and to his credit, that was the only money the airline ever saw. With the costs of his amendments, the competitiveness of the service, and the reputation damage caused by the crash, Trump Shuttle lost $128 million within 18 months. It took two and a half years before Trump was forced to give up the airline because holy shit he sucked, after which it was bought out by U.S. Airways, who scrubbed their new planes so thoroughly of any and all evidence pertaining to Trump that you'd think they'd been the scene of a wood chipper massacre.
Trump Mortgage, aka "So Long, Suckers!"
As you're now well aware, Donald Jesus Trump is one of the kindliest, caringliest, yugest humanitarians to ever grace the planet. So wonderful. The best. So when he launched Trump Mortgage LLC in 2006, no one had any doubt that Trump would run a tight, clean ship that would help millions of American homeowners with their mortgages, giving them the white picket fence future they deserved. MAGA.
Just in case anyone from r/TheDonald was thinking we'd genuinely changed our minds, Trump is a grasping, slimy mattress filled with pocket change stolen from charity wishing wells, and it's little surprise that the business ethos of Trump Mortgage reflected this in every single way. Instead of doling out money to mortgage-needers, Trump Mortgage was in fact a brokerage firm that did nothing, owned nothing, needed to take zero risks, and only existed as a way to con money from struggling families and business owners. Business was so good that Trump and Trump Mortgage CEO E.J. Ridings threw lavish parties, plastered their faces everywhere, and even bragged to the press about how "the real estate market is going to be very strong for a long time to come."
They did this in 2006.
Even as Trump was spouting off about his mega-bigly knowledge of the mortgage markets, experts were warning him of the upcoming troubles and advising him to steer clear, or to at the very least stop spending all of their money on office parties and hookers. Did he listen? Please. He wouldn't hear a single word of complaint, citing his elite education at Wharton Academy (Go, Fighting Warts!) as proof that he, and only he, could survive any financial typhoon.
Within 18 months of opening its doors, Trump Mortgage was forced to close, leaving a wealth of unpaid bills, rafters of people cheated out of their homes, and zero chance that this failure would force some introspection on Trump's part. In subsequent interviews, Trump laid the blame for the failure at the feet of everyone but himself -- his executives, the financial climate, those damn homeowners having more foresight than him. He even went so far as to suggest that he was forced into this scheme, saying that the mortgage business wasn't one that he "particularly liked or wanted to be part of in a very big way." We're sure the feeling was mutual.
FundAnything, aka "Beg, Peasants, Beg!"
If you needed an indication of how Il Douche was going to behave as president, you wouldn't have to time travel for a preview. Simply cast your mind back to 2013, when Trump launched FundAnything, his attempt at becoming the dominant crowdfunding platform on the internet. The signs were all there. He promised to take back crowdfunding from the elites, reinvigorate the world using his mad deal-making skills, and to donate a shitload of time and money making things better for everyone.
FundAnything was a collaboration between Trump and Bill Zanker, who ghostwrote the seminal masterpiece Think Big And Kick Ass In Business And Life. FundAnything wasn't a revolutionary concept, of course. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo were already dominating the field. So how did they try to stand out? Well, as they put it, "[crowdfunding] got traction with creatives and tech, but you go anywhere but the coasts and they don't get it yet," which is either calling the Midwest stupid or claiming that they don't have the internet yet in Iowa. And how did FundAnything seek to wrest crowdfunding away from the rich coastal elites? By charging the highest fees of any crowdfunding site. Vive la resistance!
The other draw, of course, was Donald Julius Trump himself. When the site launched, Trump promised to regularly promote campaigns on his Twitter and to regularly donate, like a modern-day Medici. And he did! Trump donated $92,000 to various campaigns -- of which a significant cut went back to Trump himself. He tweeted about FundAnything a whopping 27 times in eight months -- 21 of which were about campaigns by Penn Jillette and Adam Carolla, who were also conveniently appearing on Celebrity Apprentice. Were they members of the downtrodden underclass who can't sign up for Indiegogo?
The launch of FundAnything also gave Trump the chance to hold another of his famously modest launch events. He brought various people in varying states of financial hardship and prompted them to beg for his cash by saying, and this is verbatim, "Do you need money? What's your problem?" He then chose the "best" ten and retreated to a nearby balcony as the assembled masses scooped money out of a tank while he watched / jerked off.
Barely a year later, Trump shut down FundAnything, saying that it "took too much of my time and too much time to raise the money." We just hope some people who did get some saved their money. It'll be useful when their healthcare disappears.
Tour de Trump, aka "Make American Cycling Great Again!"
Maybe Trump's right. Maybe America isn't that great after all. We're failing at everything, from the little things like education and healthcare to big stuff like not making good Transformers movies anymore. And when was the last time America hosted a good cycling tournament? Man, ending segregation really ruined everything.
In the 1980s, however, one bald visionary had a plan to get America into cycling again. The Tour de Trump was going to be a ten-stage cycling tournament stretching all the way from Albany to Atlantic City. The winner would receive $75,000 -- a fair price for having to go to Atlantic City. When journalists questioned Trump about why he'd named the competition after himself and not the region, his response was "We could, if we wanted to have a less successful race." That's right, Donald Jompers Trump -- the guy who thinks exercise is a liberal plot to steal his precious bodily fluids -- thought he was the main draw for the fitness crowd.
Despite the terrible name, the race proved pretty popular in the cycling community. Between the convenient schedule (wedged between the Giro and the Tour de France) and the eye-catching mountain of cash up for grabs, many high-ranking cycling teams signed up to race on the roads of lesser New York. There was no way that even Trump could fuck this up ... except for having a massive mountain of debt. Unable to both pay the prize money and convince the IRS he had any money left to give them, Trump dropped the tour after only two years.
Trump Magazine, aka "Look At Me!"
Once upon a time, Trump Magazine was a shining jewel in the crown of the magazine industry. The amazing, albeit-short lived highbrow comedy 'zine featured contributions from legendary comedians de rigeur, including Harvey Kurtzman, Mel Brooks, and Jack Davis. And even though it folded only after one year, it is still widely regarded as a benchmark for style, substance, and wit.
Of course, Donald Trump had nothing to do with Trump. If it had, it would've been a pile of shit, like all the rest of his schlubby, awful publications.
Between 1997 and 2009, Trump made four attempts at breaking into the world of print: Trump Style, Trump World, Trump World II: Red, White, And Blonde, and Trump Magazine. Like a shitty in-flight magazine, Trump Style was distributed around his condos and hotels from 1997 to 2002. Inside, there were countless photos of Trump and his then-wife Marla Marples, horoscopes, news about his burgeoning casino empire, and plugs for the place you were already richly dumb enough for staying in. In other words, they were advertisements for places that already had Trump's name on the building and his smug candle wax face in every lobby. Very stylish, indeed.
The content of Trump World (which folded after two editions) and Trump Magazine wasn't much different: one-third scintillating interviews with Trump and the trio of haunted ventriloquist dolls he calls children, and two-thirds glossy advertisements for personal canoes, luxury pocket squares, and diamond-studded gaming consoles to pay for it.
In the end, this mighty publishing dynasty was brought down by the same problem that destroys every business owned by a self-proclaimed billionaire: cash flow problems. Trump World had lost $3 million and almost bankrupted the publisher. When it regenerated into Trump Magazine, it lost a further $7 million, a shock to those people who'd heard Trump literally weeks beforehand say that they were "taking it to the next level," not knowing that he was talking about the bankruptcies.
Trump World Studios, aka "The Hollywood Of Florida!"
Have you ever noticed that Donald Jennifer Trump has a really weird relationship with Hollywood? He spends half of his time riling up his base up about their eliteness, then spends the other half jumping up and down trying to get their attention. And there's no better signal of his toadying than the decades he spent cameo-ing in every movie he possibly could, to the extent that giving him a cameo was contractually obliged if you wanted to shoot in any of his properties.
So how do you become movie-famous while hating the guts of the movie industry? You make your own studio, with blackjack and Russian hookers. In 2012, Trump started plans to create Trump World Studios, Florida. TWS would have an 800-acre lot, comprised of 15 backlots and studio space totaling a million square feet, alongside a housing complex for employees and his beloved celebrities, restaurants, stores, and a public plaza. If it had been built, Trump World Studios would have been the largest film studio in the country, and Trump could've slipped into his new role as the Tangerine Walt Disney.
When someone looked into the 800 acres that Trump wanted, they found that he'd earmarked spaces for everything from homeless assistance and public schools to parks and environmental conservation zones, all the way to the military -- who have a thing about people trespassing on their grounds. The final nail in the coffin, however, was the discovery that Trump, real estate genius that he is, had earmarked land next to an air reserve base -- a move equivalent to Marvel Studios deciding to shoot Infinity War inside a wind turbine. Before he could get the chance to ask if the jets could, like, be quiet when doing their takeoffs and landings, the whole thing was quietly dropped like a red-hot turd -- albeit a turd that logged millions of dollars in architectural fees.
Listen, someday we'll have a better president, and maybe we'll finally get a Madame President. A "The Future Is Female" shirt is still available!
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