The Rich History of Vandalizing Donald Trump’s Property

Trump's Hollywood star
Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after it was vandalized, Los Angeles, October 26, 2016. There is a history of people vandalizing Trump's things. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Bad news for the U.S.’ golf-loving president. On Sunday, four protesters scaled the fence at the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles and carved an environmental protest message into the grass around the fifth hole. Armed with gardening tools, the group spent less than an hour etching the words “no more tigers, no more woods” into the grass.

Speaking to ABC7 news, a member of the group described its action as a protest against the Trump administration’s environmental stance. “He’s been very aggressive in gutting a lot of the policies that we’ve had in place for a very long time,” the activist said. “We felt it necessary to stand up and go take action against him.”

During Trump’s presidential campaign he promised to make cuts to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and limit its regulatory abilities. Multiple reports suggest that Trump will cut the EPA’s budget by around 25 percent, or $2 billion.

His pick to lead the agency, Oklahoma’s former attorney general Scott Pruitt is unlikely to protest. Pruitt, who has sued the agency more than a dozen times, made headlines Saturday when he questioned whether human activity was the primary contributor to global warming.

Trump has been uncharacteristically silent regarding the vandalism of his golf course. The club’s website describes the green, in true Trumpian style, as “the most spectacular golf course in America,” noting that at over $250 million, it’s also the most expensive one ever built.

But it’s not the first time that protesters have visited the club. In February, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) spent a day at the site, watching as a woman scrawled “puto” in lipstick over the club’s ornate sign. Another visitor swung by the course to give it the middle finger. When police arrived to check out the sign, they told THR there had been numerous incidents of vandalism at the club.

Anger at Trump has spilled over to his other properties too. In October 2016, protesters spray-painted the messages “Black Lives Matter” and “no justice, no peace” on Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C. The hotel, then relatively new, has come under heavy criticism for potentially breaking federal emolument laws since Trump has profited from foreign dignitaries staying there. A D.C. wine bar is also suing the president over the hotel, claiming that it is robbing them of business.

Last October also saw perhaps the most famous act of Trump-related vandalism. In the early hours of October 26, Jamie Otis took a sledgehammer and pickaxe to Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and obliterated it. Otis, who turned himself into police the next day, was sentenced in February to 20 days of community service and fines of $4,400.

These recent acts might not trouble the president too much. Back in 2010, protesters at the proposed site of Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf course in Scotland caused $61,000 worth of damage. The demonstrators ripped up grass and fencing, damaged diggers and contaminated diesel fuel to express their opposition to the sprawling course.

Compared to that, a broken star or a carved-up green seems manageable.