"Trump's a crook": DNC to troll MAGA boat rally with airplane banner on Trump's birthday

A DNC spokesperson told Salon that Democrats are also posting billboards to remind voters of Trump's criminality

By Charles R. Davis

Deputy News Editor

Published June 14, 2024 7:00AM (EDT)

Former US President Donald Trump arrives back to Trump Tower after the first day of his trial in New York City on April 15, 2024. (ADAM GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)
Former US President Donald Trump arrives back to Trump Tower after the first day of his trial in New York City on April 15, 2024. (ADAM GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

Democrats are planning to disrupt a “MAGA Boat Parade” in Michigan on Saturday by having a plane fly above the participants for three hours with a banner reminding them that Donald Trump is now the first former president — and first major party nominee — to be convicted of felonies.

“Trump’s a Crook, Don’t Let Em Sink Ur Boat,” the banner will state. According to a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, it will be flown over Lake St. Clair, next to Detroit, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. It coincides with a water-based rally organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, a pro-Trump group that bills the event as a celebration of the Republican’s 78th birthday.

Trump supporters have flaunted their boats and politics in similar rallies in Michigan and other states. In 2020, a MAGA rally on Texas’ Lake Travis ended with more than a dozen distress calls and five boats capsizing in the turbulent waters created by their fellow boaters.

Democrats are also putting up billboard ads near the site of Turning Point USA’s “People’s Convention” in downtown Detroit, where Trump will also seek to woo Black voters in a city he claims “everybody knows” is “crooked as hell,” and whose ballots he tried to toss out following his loss in 2020.

The billboards, in English and Spanish, will feature Trump alongside Roger Stone and Steve Bannon, two of his allies who have also been convicted of crimes. Stone, a long-time Republican operative, was convicted of seven felony counts for lying to special counsel Robert Mueller, among other offenses, only to be pardoned by Trump in 2020. Bannon, who avoided a possible fraud conviction by also getting a Trump pardon, is set to report to prison next month for refusing to cooperate before the congressional committee that investigated the January 6 insurrection.

The Democratic National Committee is posting billboards around Detroit reminding voters that Donald Trump and several of his associates have criminal convictions.

“Trump and his fellow crooks are in Detroit asking for your vote,” the billboards will read. “But it’s just a scam. They don’t care about you. They’re just out for themselves.”

DNC spokesperson Stephanie Justice said the campaign is intended to remind voters “of how Trump is unfit to lead, not only as a convict, but as a failed leader who left working families behind during his first term.”

By Charles R. Davis

Charles R. Davis is Salon's deputy news editor. His work has aired on public radio and been published by outlets such as The Guardian, The Daily Beast, The New Republic and Columbia Journalism Review.

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Donald Trump Roger Stone Steve Bannon