The winery that bears Donald Trump’s name, which is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, has long denied having anything to do with the current president of the United States.
Earlier this week during a press conference meant to address a number of recent events — including the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend — instead of denouncing racism and hate speech, Donald Trump essentially bragged about Trump Winery.
Trump: I own a house in Charlottesville. Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville?
Reporter: Where is it?
Trump: Oh, boy, it’s going to be — it’s in Charlottesville, you’ll see.
Reporter: Is it in the winery or something?
Trump: It’s a — it is the winery.
[Reporters shout questions.]
Trump: I mean, I know a lot about Charlottesville. Charlottesville is a great place that’s been very badly hurt over the last couple of days. I own — I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States that’s in Charlottesville.
But as Daily Show host Trevor Noah pointed out in 2016 and the Independent confirmed this week, Trump Winery is not affiliated with Donald Trump. According to the Trump Winery website, it is owned and managed by an LLC named Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing, and is “not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump”:
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 got into the wine business back in 2011 when he purchased Kluge Estate Winery. He initially kept founder and owner Patricia Kluge on board, but dismissed her a year later when he passed the business off to his son Eric.
Fake winery news aside, Trump has an unethical habit of mixing his personal business with policy matters. Whether entertaining heads of state at the restaurants inside his D.C. hotel, hosting foreign dignitaries at his properties, or plugging his businesses during official statements Trump has more conflicts of interest than hairs on his head.
The past week has actually impacted his bottom line. The value of the Trump “brand,” which he once said is worth billions, has taken a bath since he declared that some “fine people” were protesting alongside the neo-Nazis and white supremacists at the University of Virginia
Your Editor Muses: Is it possible the BRAND is losing benefits?