We’ve often asked, “what do you buy for the man who has everything?” With Donald Trump, a better question might be, “what does the man who has everything buy for himself?”
Donald Trump prides himself on his famous ability to make deals. But what does he do with the money from those deals? Simple: he makes some of the weirdest purchases on the planet!
Don’t believe it? Here are just a few of the strangest items Donald Trump ever bought.
Portrait of himself
Anyone can take a selfie. So, what do the ultra-rich do? Buy portraits of themselves!
Via the Trump Foundation, Donald Trump bought a number of things. And these things came under additional scrutiny when New York’s Supreme Court declared the foundation was little more than a front (per The New York Times) for spending money in the name of charity. Trump ultimately paid $2 million in damages.
Among the items bought was a portrait of Donald Trump that cost $10,000. The punchline? According to Bloomberg, Trump only bought the portrait because no one else would bid on it!
Ronald Reagan’s watch
Donald Trump had complex feelings about Ronald Reagan over the years. He spent much of Reagan’s administration making what The Washington Post called “self-aggrandizing gestures” towards them, which they kept rebuffing.
In The Art of the Deal, Trump (or, more accurately, Trump’s ghostwriter) would muse that Reagan was “so smooth, so effective a performer” that it would take a distance of seven years before people began “to question whether there’s anything beneath that smile.”
Despite the mixed feelings, Trump found the time and money (a mere $7,000) to buy one of Reagan’s old watches. It was just a basic Colibri Quartz watch, but Trump got a kick out of it.
Friedsam Memorial Carousel
Sometimes, what makes a Trump purchase weird isn’t the item itself. Instead, it’s what he does (or doesn’t) do with it.
A great example of this is the Friedsam Memorial Carousel. It has become a staple of Central Park, but the most notable thing is that Trump didn’t really change much about it. He didn’t give it a crazy new name or new decorations, and he didn’t even hike up the price: for a mere $3, anyone can go for a ride.
A Trump coat of arms
Does Donald Trump have his own coat of arms? As with many facts about Trump, the answer is both “yes and no.”
Trump proudly displays a family coat of arms in Mar-a-Lago. Allegedly, though, this design was stolen from an emblem previously registered by United States diplomat Joseph Edward Davies in 1939.
Donald did take the time to make a few changes. This included changing the Latin text “Integritas” (meaning integrity) on the coat of arms to say “Trump” instead. You have to admit, it doesn’t get more on brand than that!
Fake Time Magazines with himself on the cover
What makes a weird purchase truly strange? When you spend money to buy a fake version of something you already have. And that’s the bizarre case of Donald Trump and the fake Time Magazine covers.
Back in June 2017, Time Magazine asked Donald Trump to take down the fake Time Magazines he had on display at his golf courses. The fraudulent covers breathlessly proclaimed that “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS… EVEN TV” and that The Apprentice was “a smash hit” (per NBC).
You might be forgiven for thinking Trump just wanted to be on the cover. But he appeared on a Time Magazine cover in 1989 and again as Person of the Year in 2016. In short, there was no reason at all to put up fake Time Magazines at his golf courses!
In 1987, Donald Trump purchased the eighth-biggest yacht on the planet. It was featured in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again and seemed like a suitable purchase for someone like Trump. There’s just one catch: as he told Boat International, he hates boats. “I’ve been on friends’ boats before and couldn’t get off fast enough.”
Making things stranger, Trump purchased the boat from Saudia Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. This is the uncle of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered at a Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Ever notice how Trump makes a big deal out of signing things like Executive Orders? Close observers will notice he is always signing using a Sharpie pen.
Not just any Sharpie, though. According to Business Insider, Trump personally called the company and asked them to make him a personalized pen. “Can you make the pen in black?” he asked. “Can you make it look rich?”
The final result is a gold-plated marker that is engraved with Trump’s personal signature. We don’t know if he paid for the Sharpie or if the company gifted it to him, but chances are it’s worth a lot!
A herd of goats
Ever notice that unlike previous presidents, Donald Trump doesn’t have a family dog or cat? Famously, he is not much of an animal person. But he makes exceptions for animals that save him money, which is why he ended up buying a herd of goats!
Why goats, though? As Business Insider reports, the herd of goats “is helping Trump pay tens of thousands of dollars less in property taxes on his New Jersey properties.”
Trump placed those goats across two of his New Jersey golf courses. The design of these courses, combined with the goats, helped Donald Trump get a special farmland tax break under New Jersey State Law.
A (non-drained) swamp
Trump became synonymous with a rather unique phrase: “Drain the swamp!” But when it comes to a weird plot of land in Central Florida, he might as well adopt a new mantra: “Claim the swamp!”
Despite being known for hotels and golf courses, Trump took the time to buy some swampland in Florida. As The Guardian reports, this quarter-acre plot of land was bought by Trump for $1 and is currently valued at $4,280.
Part of what makes this weird is how un-Trump-like this property is. It’s small, located in a poor area, and is basically inaccessible. As appraiser Raymond MacIntyre described, “you need a Jeep, a helicopter, or a parachute just to get to it.”