Election 2016

5 Things Trump Has Lied About Owning

No one's pants have ever been more figuratively on fire.

Photo Credit: Paul Hakimata Photography/Shutterstock

If it exists, Donald Trump has lied about it.

This is true of everything that has ever been or will ever be, of things both vital and trivial. Trump makes up fake news, lies about inventing numerous things, fabricates about who and what he knows, needlessly fibs about things for pointless reasons. By mid-August, the Washington Post estimated he’d told more than 1,000 lies while in office, though he’s probably added a couple hundred more by now. He is a lying machine, if machines played golf instead of doing their jobs.

In addition to all those things, Trump lies about what he owns. That likely includes the $10 billion he has claimed to possess, but goes much further. Here are five things Trump lies about owning.

1. A Renoir that’s been in a museum for 84 years.

Trump is a man who is so “classy” that his hairpiece is made of spun gold and his tooth fillings are crafted from the finest Italian marble. (He even gives friends nothing but the very best fake diamonds as presents.) As further proof of his refinement and love of arts and culture, Trump once boasted to his biographer, Tim O’Brien, that he owns a Renoir painting, which at the time was displayed on his private jet but has since been moved to Trump Tower.

“You know, that’s an original Renoir,” Trump reportedly told O’Brien when the author questioned the painting’s authenticity.

Of course, it was not. The real Two Sisters on the Terrace has been hanging at the Art Institute of Chicago since 1933. Amanda Hicks, a spokesperson for the institution, told the Chicago Tribune that the organization is “satisfied that our version is real.”

Like he would know. 

2. Tom Brady’s Super Bowl helmet.

During a tour of his New York office in 2015, Trump pointed out to a Wall Street Journal reporter that he owns "Tom Brady's Super Bowl helmet." It was a believable enough claim, considering Brady has said lots of nice things about Trump and even prominently displayed a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker during election season. But GQ’s Freddie Campion, with the help of some social media sleuths, notes that the helmet Trump possesses features a birdcage face mask. In contrast, photos from all of Brady’s Super Bowl appearances depict him wearing an open-face mask. Campion notes that he’s “not saying Brady couldn't have given Trump a helmet, but it seems very unlikely the one in his office is the one Brady wore in any Super Bowl.” The magazine reached out to Trump’s team for comment but got no response.

3. A luxury lifestyle magazine, steaks, a wine company, a water bottler.

After primary wins in Michigan and Mississippi that helped us get to the horrible new reality we now live in, Trump gave a victory speech focused on the Trump product line. Among the featured items were steaks, crates of wine and boxes of bottled water. It’s true that Trump has previously owned companies that produce steaks, bottled water and vodka (though never wine). But those enterprises all folded, mostly because the only business savvy Trump possesses is how to run a company so far into the ground it becomes a time capsule. NPR found that the steaks Trump displayed were actually produced by a company called Bush Brothers and the water by Village Springs Corporation. While the wine did bear the Trump name, its website also carried this disclaimer: “Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, the Trump Organization or any of their affiliates."

Trump even held up a magazine called the Jewel of Palm Beach and faked ownership of the publication. While the magazine’s website describes it as exclusively distributed at “Donald J. Trump’s spectacular Mar-a-Lago Club,” it’s actually owned by Palm Beach Media Group. The eponymously titled Trump Magazine went out of business in 2009.

4. One of the largest wineries in the U.S.

Speaking of wine Trump doesn’t own, let’s discuss his claim to being the proprietor of one of the largest wineries in America. This brag came right after Trump stated that the neo-Nazis and white nationalists who killed a counter-protester in Charlottesville were "very fine people."

“I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States. It’s in Charlottesville,” Trump said near the end of the press conference, using a moment of national shame and tragedy to prop up his fragile ego with a demonstrable lie.

Again, as Politifact and #3 on this list both note, Trump doesn’t own that winery. As for it being among the country’s biggest:

Trump Winery is not even the largest in Virginia. The Trump Winery produces about 36,000 cases of wine each year, according to [Virginia Wine Board]. The top producers in the state are the Williamsburg Winery and Chateau Morrisette in Floyd County -- each making about 60,000 cases a year...Barboursville Winery in Orange County, meanwhile, makes about 37,000 cases a year...It’s not hard to find wineries along the East Coast that make even more.

5. Several hotels and other buildings.

Immediately post-election, Trump’s team put up a transition website that laid out Steve Bannon's and Steve Miller’s visions for the country. While Trump had no thoughts on policy to offer, his primary contribution seems to have been a list of buildings around the world he claimed to own, except not. Bloomberg noticed the fabrication and it suddenly went poof!

The new site, greatagain.gov, said until Friday afternoon that he owned at least four properties that the Trump Organization has long said he doesn’t, including Trump-branded buildings in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Brazil and Panama that were built and are owned by others. The transition site, which was launched Wednesday, also said he owned six Manhattan towers in which he has only partial or negligible interest.

After the transition team was contacted by Bloomberg News, the sections were removed from the website. Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bonus Item: Trump lied about owning a thing he may actually own.

After a New York Times article depicted Trump spending early evenings wandering aimlessly around the White House and “watching television in his bathrobe,” Team Trump sprang into denial mode.

"I don’t think the president owns a bathrobe,” Sean Spicer told reporters. “He definitely doesn’t wear one."

If Trump does not currently own a bathrobe, it’s probably because he threw it out after that article. As the internet quickly made clear, he has a very long history of wearing bathrobes, and then posing in those bathrobes in images we can never unsee.

 

 

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

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