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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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