The Trump Files: Donald Sued Other People Named Trump for Using Their Own Name

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This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files”—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current President—on August 2, 2016.

Donald Trump isn’t the only Trump in the world, but that fact apparently came as a surprise to Donald in 1984. That’s when Trump got a letter from the publisher of Drug Store News welcoming him to the fraternity of chain drug store owners. But Trump hadn’t bought Duane Reade or CVS. The letter was intended for a business called the Trump Group, run by South African-born developers Eddie and Jules Trump, which had recently bid for the Pay ‘n Save chain.

Donald, to put it mildly, was not pleased. “The defendants are South Africans whose recent entrance in the New York area utilizing the name ‘the Trump Group’ can only be viewed as a poorly veiled attempt at trading on the goodwill, reputation and financial credibility of the plaintiff,” read a lawsuit he quickly filed against the Trump Group. He lost that case but did succeed in having the Trump Group’s trademark revoked in 1988.

That didn’t hurt the other Trumps too much. The Real Deal, a New York real estate publication, noted in 2009 that Eddie and Jules, who still use the Trump Group name, have “quietly built an empire on luxury real estate development” in Florida and other places. Eddie was even placed 35th on a 2013 list of the world’s 50 most “influential” rich people, a list on which Donald did not appear.

But there’s no bad blood between the Trumps, even if Jules was an early $25,000 donor to Marco Rubio’s super-PAC, according to Gawker. “I’m friends with them,” Donald told the New York Times. “They’re quality guys. They do quality developments.”

“We’re very boring,” Jules told the Real Deal. “We’re very different from Mr. Trump. He’s much more interesting. Go write about him.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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