In the ongoing drama that is the Trump presidency, secondary characters constantly float in and out as new storylines and Special Counsel inquiries come to light. It’s easy to lose track. So to help, let’s get to know some of Trump’s satellites, both new and old, a little better. Let’s take a look at their Amazon.com Wish Lists.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the feature, when you shop for an item on Amazon, an unobtrusive little button sits under the “Add to Cart” option. Clicking it immediately adds the item to a Wish List, making it very easy to create one entirely by accident. (In fairness, I recently found out that I’d done just that too.)
Whether purposefully made or not, the below seem very likely to be the genuine Wish Lists of several residents of Trump World. Thanks to the help of Amazon’s Wish List search feature, all it takes to pin them down is an email address or a relatively uncommon name.
Sater, if you can recall as far back as Monday, is the Trump business associate who wrote in an email to Trump’s lawyer, “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.” A former broker for the Trump Organization, Sater also formerly owned internet domains like VaginaBoy.com and CuntMan.net. According to his now deleted Amazon Wish List, he also once yearned for the Bai Supertea Variety Pack, Antioxidant Infused Tea, 18 Fl. Oz. Bottles (Pack of 12).
Typing “Felix Sater” into the Amazon Wish List search page will bring up both a Felix Sater and a Felix H. Sater. As it happens, the full name of the Trump-affiliated Felix Sater is Felix Henry Sater. It would appear that we have a match.
I asked Sater to confirm whether this was his Amazon wishlist, to which he responded:
Are you are kidding me, Is Alan Funt from candid camera going to jump out of the bushes now?
When I went back to check on the list after receiving Sater’s email, every item had been deleted.
The screenshots, however, remain.
While the items on Sater’s list are mostly banal, it includes a few choice selections. In November of 2014, Sater apparently had his eye on a $300 Boker Damascus African Ebony Pocket Knife—an excellent choice according to reviewer Jenica H, who wrote, “It was very sharp! My husband liked it.” In September of that same year, Sater also appears to have targeted a Vipertek Rechargeable Stun Gun with LED Tactical Flashlight, Black. What the former FBI informant planned to do with the product is unclear, though he certainly picked a sturdy model. According to one reviewer, “The tazer is enough to drop a full grown man wearing several layers of clothing, along with being able to deter any attacker who has a brain, since activating the tazer is incredibly loud and intimidating.”
This particular flashlight/stun gun combo, however, is no longer in stock.
Last week, Dr. Professor Sebastian Gorka, PhD was asked to leave the White House. According to Gorka, though, he resigned because, “given recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are—for now—ascendant within the White House.” This is by no means the first time Gorka has found himself in the center of conflicting accounts—nor, apparently, is it the last.
According to the Amazon Wish List search function, someone with Gorka’s exact email address created the following over a period of several months in 2015.
This person using Gorka’s email address also happened to choose items that align perfectly with Gorka’s interests.
Regarding Cesar Millan’s Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar’s Way to Transform Your Dog…and Your Life, Gorka appears to be a lover of dogs.
Christmas isn't just for the bipedal pic.twitter.com/MQLC3r55Bs
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) December 25, 2016
Gorka is also an avowed Terry Pratchett fan.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) March 12, 2015
When contacted at the same email address as the one connected to the Amazon account for confirmation, Gorka responded with the following:
I don’t have an Amazon account. (Are you hacking private individuals accounts now?) SG
I asked Gorka if he has any idea how his email address might have become connected to an apparently unrelated account that shares both his name and his interests. His response: “None at all.”
Fortunately for us, Anthony Scaramucci is a relatively uncommon name; there are only two potential Mooches with Amazon Wish Lists. And only one of those comes with a bright, beaming headshot.
When reached over DM, Scaramucci offered the following:
Great to hear! And also not an outright denial. Because, as previously mentioned, it is incredibly easy to create a Wish List without realizing what you’re doing, in my professional opinion this case remains inconclusive.
The book selections also seem, for lack of a better word, very Moochesque: Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto, Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Gregory Zuckman’s The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History, and Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker. Of the last book, one reviewer notes, “Read this and you will know why every one who works on wall street becomes wealthy at the expense of others. it is basically ‘legalized stealing.'”
It’s true that anyone could ostensibly make an Amazon account, name it Anthony Scaramucci, use Anthony’s Scaramucci’s photo, and choose only items that Anthony Scaramucci might be interested in. Considering that this particular Mooch added his first item in May of 2010, however, that all seems highly unlikely.
Granted, we can’t be definitively certain about the owners of these lists, but it seems highly unlikely for them to belong to anyone else. This makes the side-stepping of Trump’s companions particularly bizarre, since there’s nothing especially damning about their contents (except for, perhaps, the taser and the Cesar Millan audiobook, if you object to his methods). There’s no real reason not to own up to it—but then again, when have they ever?
This, of course, represents just a very small corner of the Trump crew’s internet imprint. If you know anything about what the president’s various associates have been up to online, you can send me an email here.
Clear History is WIRED’s occasional deep dives into the lesser-known internet lives of the rich and powerful. Think you found someone’s online identity? Let us know here.