Of all the insipid and inspired parody accounts that have followed Donald Trump’s rise to the forefront of American awareness over the past few years, one of the most vital is Real Press Secretary. It’s a bot that treats all of Trump’s tweets as what they sadly are–official statements from the President of the United States–by placing them in the same format as announcements from the Press Secretary’s office. Anytime the Real Press Sec bot tweets, it’s a jarring reminder that statements like the one below (and the other six tweets Trump blasted off by 10:15 a.m. this Monday) are seen by millions around the globe as dispatches from the Leader of the Free World.
A statement by the President: pic.twitter.com/oPQWP0hchY
— Real Press Sec. (@RealPressSecBot) April 15, 2019
Many have likely grown inoculated to the weirdness factor of Trump tweets with language seemingly culled from a pugnacious bar argument, but seeing “What the hell do I know?” as the official White House statement makes that weirdness feel pure and uncut again.
And it should feel weird! Frankly, it’s terrifying that the president’s response to a major aircraft manufacturer grounding one of its commercial models over safety concerns, after multiple deadly crashes, is to sarcastically offer business advice. It’s not exactly the kind of leadership that has historically won hearts and minds. Aside from the glaring, inescapable weirdness of this presidential address, and the fact that the advice it offers–to FIX the planes!–is not exactly helpful, it’s worth noting that his rhetorical question does have an answer.
Just what the hell does Donald Trump know about branding? Here are some examples Twitter had to offer.
1) Trump Shuttle
In 1989, Trump bought the Eastern Shuttle for $365M. Within three years, Trump abandoned the deal, after the airline suffered hundred-million-dollar losses.
Trump Airlines was such a success….
— Billy (@halliganotoole) April 15, 2019
2) Trump Steaks
The so-called “World’s greatest steaks,” a venture between Trump and Sharper Image, for all of two months in 2007. Have you ever had a Trump Steak? Do you know anyone who has?
I wonder how many people got food poisoning from Trump Steaks
— Henry the Dog (@DogHerny) April 15, 2019
3) Trump Taj Mahal and several other hotels and casinos
One of the more consistent knocks against the president’s famous business acumen is that he somehow bankrupted multiple casinos–a business where people come in off the street and just hand over their money, like the opposite of a bank.
1991 BANKRUPT Trump Taj Mahal
1992 BANKRUPT Trump Castle Hotel & Casino
1992 BANKRUPT Trump Plaza Casino
1992 BANKRUPT Trump Plaza Hotel
2004 BANKRUPT Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts
2009 BANKRUPT Trump Entertainment Resorts
— Mr. Spock ???? (@SpockResists) April 15, 2019
4) Trump University
Ever the record-breaker, Trump made history by becoming the first president-elect to settle a class action law suit for $25M over his fraudulent scam of a “university” within two weeks of his election.
And apply for Trump University.
— Michael Jackson (@mdjaxon) April 15, 2019
5) Pretty much everything except for The Apprentice
Trump Magazine (RIP 2006-2009), Trump Vodka (RIP 2005-2011), Trump: The Game (a game whose proceeds he promised to donate to charity, but never did), and Trump Ice (RIP 2003-21010): these are just some of the many things that Trump put his name on that no longer exist.
Trump Airlines: Failed
Trump Casinos: Failed
Trump University: Failed
Trump Shuttle: Failed
Trump Vodka: Failed
Trump Steaks: Failed
Trump Magazine: Failed
Trump Ice: Failed
Trump The Game: Failed
Trump Mortgage: Failed
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) April 15, 2019
Do you have an answer for what the hell Donald Trump knows about branding that we missed? Tweet at Fast Company here.