In Trump We Trust – .com, that is.
Not your politics? Maybe check out ThrowOutTrump.com.
Actually, they’re both empty websites, what you call parked domain names: bought and paid for, but not used.
More interesting is that they both belong to the same guy – Donald J. Trump.
A big hat tip to CNN, which had the idea to search for all websites registered by the Trump Organization and came back with a list of more than 3,000 – all the way back to the original DonaldJTrump.com, registered in 1997.
“One was TrumpEmpire.com,” CNN noted. “That domain had belonged to a Mexican cybersquatter” before Trump’s company nabbed it last June (to the cybersquatter’s chagrin).
The bulk of the names are not surprising. DonaldTrumpRoomFragrance.com, CelebrityApprenticePoker.com and Trump.cheap are the sort of sites you’d want to reserve if you, too, owned an octopus-like consortium of restaurants, casinos, real estate, perfumes, steaks, wines, companies and brands of every kind.
But what’s TrumpArmy.com about? The Trump Organization registered it in 2011, long before Trump commanded the U.S. Army. The site itself is no help; TrumpArmy, like most of his websites, is a GoDaddy template.
Neither the Trump Organization (which is being run by Trump’s family while its namesake runs the United States) nor the White House replied immediately to questions from The Washington Post about the domain names.
But the company told CNN: “We take the protection of our corporate identity and our intellectual property very seriously . . . this includes trademarking both positive and negative domain names and taking firm legal action when necessary to protect our name and intellectual property.”
Indeed, at least 11 of Trump’s websites contain the words “scam” or “fraud.” They include TheTrumpNetworkFraud, which CNN notes was registered in 2009 – shortly before the Trump Network launched.
The Trump Network – which sold vitamins and health products to salespeople, who sold them to other salespeople, who sold them to other salespeople – was later likened by some to a pyramid scheme.
DonaldTrumpPyramidScheme.com is a Trump property, too.
So are TrumpScam.com, TrumpFraud.com, TrumpFraud.net and TrumpFraud.org, all registered two months after Trump announced his campaign for president.
Other preemptive registrations reveal earlier flirtations with politics. ThrowOutTrump.com and TrumpMustGo.com were both registered in 2012 – long after he bowed out of that presidential election.
For whatever reason, Trump snatched TrumpIsFired.com in 2010.
Remember last week, when Trump was battling reports that his campaign had been in contact with Russian operatives and he said, “I own nothing in Russia?”
That was true. But Trump does own TrumpRussia.com – registered July 17, 2008, along with TrumpItaly.com, TrumpUruguay.com and nearly a dozen other Trump-branded countries.
Trump’s is a family corporation, of course. Not every Trump.com refers to Donald Trump.
Nearly 300 domain names refer to Ivanka Trump, including WomanWhoWorks.com, which forwards visitors to the first daughter’s website.
Ivanka gave birth to a baby boy last year. One day later, the Trump Organization registered three forms of the child’s name as websites.
They’re all empty. According to CNN, only a small fraction of Trump’s thousands of domain names link to actual websites. The rest just sit there as placeholders in a business and political legacy that predates the World Wide Web and may outlast it.
A news search turns up no evidence of any product, brand or sales pitch for “In Trump We Trust” when InTrumpWeTrust.com was registered in 2014.
The website’s still a blank page three years later, though the slogan’s on a coin.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Avi Selk