Donald Trump is the proud owner of DonaldTrumpSucks.com, TrumpRussia.com and at least 3,641 other domains
How many internet domains do you own? I own four, I think, and pretty much all of them are dormant: I just don’t have the time to do anything with them. So it’s understandable that from the 3,643 internet domains that the president of the United States owns, fewer than 500 actually have anything on them, or redirect anywhere.
That’s the conclusion of an investigation by CNN Money, which found that the president’s company owns at least 3,643 internet domains ranging from the predictable (TrumpEmpire.com) to the surprisingly self-critical (DonaldTrumpSucks.com).
The president’s buying spree began two decades ago, when he purchased DonaldJTrump.com on January 20 1997, presumably off the back of installing AOL from one of those free CDs they used to post out with wild abandon.
Since then, he’s been collecting them at a fairly impressive rate, usually purchasing before he needs them. For example, you can see the first seeds of a run for public office being planted four years ago, as Barack Obama was returned to the White House, when Trump purchased VoteAgainstTrump.com, TrumpMustGo.com and NoMoreTrump.com.
The purchase of negative URLs is a running theme (and not exactly unique to Trump – The Guardian reported Volvo’s purchase of VolvoSucks.com 17 years ago), but what’s really interesting about them is the insight it gives you into the damage limitation Trump is planning at any given time. In 2009, Trump launched the Trump Network – a multi-level marketing business that sold tailored vitamin supplements (“hocus pocus,” Harvard’s Dr Pieter Cohen claimed. “None of this is based on actual science”) . At the same time, Trump scooped up a number of domains including TrumpNetworkFraud.com, TrumpPyramidScheme.com and TrumpNetworkPonziScheme.com. The Trump Network was sold under a cloud in 2012.
A similar pattern emerged with regards to Trump University – a suit he settled for $25 million days before taking office. In the run-up to the litigation, Trump registered 157 domains for operations across the USA and Puerto Rico. He registered 98percentApproval.com in July 2013, echoing the organisation’s defence that Trump University had a 98% approval rating. That could be dismissed as a promotional website for the school, if it hadn’t closed two years earlier.
Some domains exist for his current role as – sigh – leader of the free world. While MakeAmericaGreatAgain.Vote makes plenty of sense, TrumpRussia.com raises eyebrows given the accusations of Russian interference with the 2016 election. Other domains exist as monuments to businesses that either closed (TrumpVodkaSucks.com) or never got off the ground (TrumpDoll.com ensures that a night’s sleep may well elude me tonight). Four hundred or so redirect to other ventures: ChicagoTrumpLimo.com redirects to a site that will sell you a fashionably dubious “Proud2bDeplorable” shirt, should you wish. TrumpOnTheBeachOnline.net sends you to a site that’ll let you rent out a party bus in Washington DC.
Still, with more than 3,000 websites displaying just a blank page, the president has a nice hobby lined up for when he leaves the White House in 2024, 2020 or maybe sooner. Ironically, despite amassing a thorough selection of negative URLs, not registering ImpeachTrump.com has proved an unfortunate oversight.