The Trump Files: Donald Tried to Shut Down a Bike Race Named “Rump”

Mother Jones illustration; Shutterstock

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

In 1989, Donald Trump teamed up with college basketball analyst Billy Packer to host a bicycle race called the Tour de Trump. It ran from Albany, New York, to the Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, passing through Newark, and it was designed to serve as the American version of the famous Tour de France. It was a very Trump affair—one of the teams was sponsored by a Dutch brothel.

But there was another bicycle race that had just made its debut. Organizers in Aspen, Colorado, called their event the Tour de Rump, and its logo was a bicyclist with an oversized posterior.

Trump decided that the rights to the name “Trump” also extended to the word “rump,” and he quickly moved to have the competition squashed. As the Aspen Times reported:

Trump’s attorneys sent a letter to Tour de Rump organizer Ron Krajian. The lawyers contended that Tour de Rump violated the trademark for Tour de Trump, a road cycle race sponsored by Trump decades ago.

“You are using the name and mark Tour de Rump in connection with an ‘inaugural’ cycling event,” Trump’s counsel wrote. “Your use of that name and mark is likely to cause confusion and constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin, all in violation of applicable federal and state laws.

“Unless you give us your written assurance within 24 hours after receipt of this letter that you will forthwith cease and desist using the name and mark Tour de Rump, or any name or mark confusingly similar to Tour de Trump, we will institute legal action against you seeking injunctive relief, legal fees and actual and punitive damages.”

The Tour de Rump folks were not intimidated. They did not change the name, contending Trump had no case.

It didn’t take long for market forces to settle the matter. The Tour de Trump lasted two years—until Trump’s plunging finances forced him to turn over his sponsorship to the DuPont corporation. The Tour de Rump is still going strong.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate