Shoppers looking for MAGA hats at Trump Tower this week may have encountered a Ku Klux Klan hood or a photo of President Putin, and asked themselves whether what they were seeing was real merchandise.
On Monday afternoon, two NYC-based artists secretly slipped some items inside the merchandising outpost of the Trump Tower's lower lobby. Among them: A Trump-emblazoned KKK hood "for fine people," sealed packages of pee-proof rubber sheets, and a Russian flag. In the front of the store, a postcard display featured the 45th President of the United States, Vladimir Putin, along with cards paying tribute to First Lady Ivanka Trump, and the flap of flesh near the president's throat area, known as a Wattle.
"We thought the tourists coming in to buy some stuff, especially people from other countries, should get the whole story of who the president is, because the items in the Trump store don't accurately reflect the person," one of the two artists, who asked that we not reveal his name, told Gothamist.
Those actual items in the restroom-adjacent newsstand include an oddly-muscular bobblehead of the president ($40), a "Melania Trump First Lady License" ($4), and a mousepad featuring all 45 presidents.
Next door, a kiosk sells Official merchandise, including the Trump Signature Collection cufflinks ($45), a painted gold coin bank ($20), and Trump golf towels and putter covers ($30). Sadly, the "Shut The Fake Up Media" shirt was nowhere to be found.
Asked if he was concerned that the current administration might be too absurd to satirize, our underground source admitted that was a possibility. "My partner was in the back putting in some of the items and he said to someone, 'Oh did you see this?' and they didn't even bat an eye."
Neither did the people who work in the store, at least for a little while. As of Tuesday morning, the Putin/Ivanka/Wattle postcards were still on display—though the shopkeeper did notice when we attempted to buy one of the cards, and quickly ordered us out of the store while calling security. Upon returning an hour later, all of the items appeared to be gone.
"Every time you think you're going to get Trump on something, he outdoes the parody," explained the tipster. "He hasn't started selling white hoods yet, but after that batshit speech he gave two floors up—well if there's enough money to be made, he'd probably start."