Media Outlets Reported That Tom Steyer’s Campaign Trolled Trump’s Campaign – But They Buried A Major Detail
Shelby Talcott on December 2, 2019
Media outlets downplayed the fact that 2020 Democratic candidate Tom Steyer’s newest domain name purchase, aimed at trolling President Donald Trump’s campaign, had been owned by anti-Trump activists since as early as 2016.
The Steyer campaign purchased the domain name “Keep America Great” in an apparent attempt to turn the tables on the Trump campaign, who have previously purchased political opponents’ would-be websites. “Keep America Great” is Trump’s re-election slogan for 2020.
“Trump’s campaign prides itself on hoarding websites of political opponents, but they forgot to pick up the URL for their signature re-election slogan, ‘Keep America Great,’” Steyer’s campaign claimed in a statement.
Politico and The Hill both reported the news, but downplayed the website’s history. Politico only reported that the website was created in 2015. It did not mention that archived versions of the website show it has been run by anti-Trump activists.
The Hill added in a comment from the Trump campaign noting that the website has been an anti-Trump domain for years and that the campaign did not “forget” to purchase it. The outlet didn’t back up the comment from Trump’s campaign with archived website links, which indicate that anti-Trump activists ran the website for years.
“Keepamericagreat.com” sold anti-Trump gear in 2016, according to an archived version of the website. It includes a section titled “Why We Must Stop Trump!”
“We are just a couple of regular Americans who are fed up with the state of our politics,” the 2016 website read. “Join us to spread awareness and start a serious conversation about the future of America, and most importantly, Stop Donald Trump!”
The website continued to be run by anti-Trump activists in the years that followed, according to 2017 and 2018 archived versions of the site.
The outlets instead appeared to focus their reporting on Steyer’s troll attempt.
Politico and The Hill both reported that Steyer purchased the domain name after the Trump campaign “forgot,” according to the Steyer campaign. They “purchased the domain two weeks ago without the help of Russia because it’s important to tell the truth about Donald Trump’s record of bankrupting businesses,” a Steyer campaign statement reads, according to The Hill.
The website now opens up to a page that reads “Trump Is A Fraud And A Failure.” It allows for people to purchase a bumper sticker with this slogan for $1.
Politico and The Hill did not immediately respond to a request for comment about downplaying the website’s history. The Steyer campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about why they failed to mention the website’s history, instead framing it as a Trump campaign error.
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