The Trump Files: Watch the Trump Vodka Ad Designed for a Russian Audience

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Until the election, we’re bringing you “The Trump Files,” a daily dose of telling episodes, strange but true stories, or curious scenes from the life of GOP nominee Donald Trump.

In the mid-2000s, Donald Trump licensed his name—in exchange for about half the profits—to a high-priced line of vodka that came in a distinctive gold bottle. Though Trump doesn’t drink, he praised the “smooth” and “great-tasting vodka,” which was produced by a Dutch distillery. “I don’t know if it tasted so good,” the distillery’s manager told Bloomberg earlier this year. “I’m not a vodka drinker.” One of the markets Trump Vodka targeted was Russia. Given the vast quantities of vodka Russians legendarily consume every year, it seemed like a business no-brainer. In 2007, Trump and his partners attempted to make a splash in the Russian market with a grand premier at something called the Moscow Millionaire’s Fair (an annual event for millionaires to market the latest in luxury goods). To promote the booze, the brand’s marketing team put together a bizarre video featuring images of Trump, the Kremlin, tigers (for some reason), and, uh, Vladimir Lenin (who probably would not have had a high opinion of Donald Trump).

It was all downhill from there for Trump Vodka, whose parent company was later sold off and repurposed to market Mexican-themed liquors.

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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.

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