Fact checking Trump’s victory visual aids

Posted at 2:58 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 20:39:42-05

If the Donald Trump and Mitt Romney tête-à-tête had a theme song, it might be Cole Porter’s classic most famously sung by Frank Sinatra: “I’ve got you under my skin.”

The world of political media wondered if Mitt Romney’s March 3rd speech condemning all things Trump would have any impact. Many pundits questioned the move, saying anyone inclined to like Trump would view a scold from Romney as a badge of honor.

They may have been right. Trump’s campaign surged on March 8th, with wins in Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii.

And then…the Victory Press Conference.

Before Trump took the stage at his Mar-a-Lago resort ballroom, his staff was hard at work, setting up tables next to the podium.

On the tables: Cases of Trump Water, bottles of Trump Wine, and a chef creating a teepee shaped display of the thickest steaks imaginable.

It wasn’t a buffet. It was a display.

After thanking his supporters and before opening the floor to reporters’ questions, Donald Trump mounted a defense of the businesses Romney said were defunct.

A sampling:

  • “Trump steaks. Do we have the steaks? We have Trump steaks.”
  • “He mentioned Trump Vodka, It's the largest winery on the east coast. I own it 100%.”
  • “We have Trump Magazine. Let me see the magazine.”
  • “He said Trump Airline. Well I sold the airline and I actually made a great deal.”
  • “And by the way, Trump University, we're holding it. When I win the lawsuit, which I'll win.”

The strange thing is, on each point, the facts don’t match the display.

Trump steaks were the most glaring example, with a number of reporters noting that the steaks on display came out of shrink wrap labeled, “Bush Brothers Meat Packing.” No, not those Bush Brothers, but the coincidence is impossible to ignore.

Those may be steaks offered at Donald Trump’s resorts, but the brand of steaks that used to be distributed under Trump’s name by The Sharper Image, haven’t been sold since 2007, according to the company’s catalog, though they’re taking advantage of the publicity by posting the old offering, while saying:

“Unfortunately, Trump Steaks are no longer available, but their legacy endures.”

Trump Vodka is no longer sold, and the winery’s website has a legal disclaimer reading:

“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 magazine is also out of publication. The New York Daily News reported on its closing.

"The last iteration of the luxury lifestyle mag reached a circulation of 100,000 and sold for $5.95 before it flopped."