Trump denies existence of more than half a million signatures on petition asking Macy’s to fire him

An online petition asking Macy’s to drop Donald Trump’s products from its stores now has more than a half million signatures and social media-fueled momentum. Naturally, Trump denies that those signatures exist.

Macy’s has a Donald Trump collection that apparently does not include self-delusion. The petition has been around for a while, but has gone viral this weekend, when Trump, perhaps not coincidentally, tweeted about his new products there.

The company distanced themselves from Trump’s “opinions,” telling Bloomberg BusinessWeek in a statement,

“Macy’s marketing and merchandise offerings are not representative of any political position. Many of the individuals associated with products sold at Macy’s–or at any retailer, for that matter–express personal opinions that are not related to the merchandise we sell or to the philosophies of our company.”

The petition was created by Media Matters’ Angelo Carusone, who previously created a petition asking Fox News to drop Glenn Beck, which it did after advertisers dropped the show. It cites Trump’s “especially unpleasant, nasty and despicable behavior,” including his “sexist behavior” and the way he has “Perpetuated the racially charged birther conspiracy.” It also cites Macy’s social responsibility statement, which says, in part, that it will “be socially responsible to the people and communities where they do business.”

Cher has been among those to give it attention, calling Trump a “RACIST CRETIN” and noting “HIS RUG.” (Cher seems to have issues with her caps lock and shift keys.) She later apologized for the “Cheap Shot at Trumps [sic] Hair” but called him “a Flaming Asshole.” Of course, Trump fired back, saying, “I don’t wear a ‘rug’” and adding, “I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn’t work.”

Online petitions are often useless ways of making people feel like they have done something when, in fact, they have done nothing and the petition ultimately has no impact whatsoever. However, having more than half a million signatures is pretty significant, especially considering the speed at which it’s earned signatures over the past few days. And what really matters here is that the petition has gone viral and attracted media attention.

So what does Donald Trump think? In the most predictable response imaginable, which comes through a spokesperson, he denies that it eixsts. “I question the legitimacy and accuracy of the website and the number of signatures claimed to have joined this petition,” Trump spokesman Michael Cohen told Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

This is no surprise considering Trump’s continual dismissal of reality and facts. But if Macy’s does get pressured into dropping his products, that affects his bottom line, and that may be a reality he won’t be able to deny.

Correction: My well-documented failures with numbers led me to write a headline and lead for this story that overstated the number of signatures on the petition by about 5 million. (I was attempting to conserve space by turning into a decimal.) The actual number, as of 11:15 a.m. ET, is 562,030. I apologize for and regret the error.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.