On January 11, 2017, nine days before Donald Trump entered the White House, one of his lawyers stepped in front of a microphone inside Trump Tower to make the case that Trump cared about separating his presidency from his business. “President-elect Trump wants there to be no doubt in the minds of the American public that he is completely isolating himself from his business interests,” said the attorney, Sheri Dillon. “He instructed us to take all steps realistically possible to make it clear that he is not exploiting the office of the presidency for his personal benefit.”
That wasn’t true then—Trump refused to divest his businesses—and it certainly isn’t now. The latest evidence: Inside Trump Tower, not far from where Dillon made her case, the old “Trump Bar” has turned into an establishment that appears to be called the “45 Wine & Whiskey Bar.” In case the relevance of “45” isn’t immediately obvious to potential customers, a large plaque sits just outside the bar reminding them that Trump was the 45th president.
Although the space was roped off on Friday and Tuesday, when a Forbes reporter was in the building, visitors walking through the lobby could still get a glimpse at the interior, which includes one wall with a photo of Trump meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Display cases that once showed off products near the entrance had been replaced by a line of American flags.
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The use of “45” branding wasn’t just limited to the bar. The Trump Store, which has two locations inside Trump Tower, is currently selling $28 Christmas ornaments with a “45” encircled by stars, the same logo as the one featured on the awning of the bar. Customers can also buy keychains with the same insignia, for $15. In addition, there are cocktail glasses, coasters, flasks and hats. Shoppers searching for an alternate look can buy caps, in red or white, with “USA” emblazoned above the bill and “45” over the temple.
Spokespeople for the Trump Organization did not respond to inquiries, and details about the new offerings are sparse. While 45 Wine & Whiskey seems to have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, it does not appear to have made any public posts. The Twitter account was created in June 2021, suggesting the venture has been in the works for at least a few months.
The odds of seeing Trump enjoying a cocktail at 45 Wine & Whiskey Bar are slim. He has been spending much of his time recently at one of his New Jersey golf courses. And 45 is a teetotaler.