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Owner of Trump store in Webster tells News10NBC "I'm the CEO of Team Deplorable"

July 04, 2018 07:15 AM

A new store dedicated to President Donald Trump and his policies opened in the Village of Webster.

The owner is asking for thousands of dollars in donations. So, News10NBC asked the owner, where is the money going? 

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Bruce Ben-Dov says it's going to help kick-start the business but if he raises enough, the money will go to help support President Trump.

The name of the store in the village is getting peoples' attention. 

It's called "Trump's Team Deplorable Community Activity Center." 

"I'm the CEO of Team Deplorable," Bruce Ben-Dov said. "I'm the most deplorable there is."

Ben-Dov was a paratrooper in Operation Desert Storm and has MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester. The university says Ben-Dov graduated in 1990.  After a career in real estate and accounting, Ben-Dov opened this business in Webster.

News10NBC asked him about the name. 

"I was a little bit angry, quite frankly. The far left, the very far left," Ben-Dov said. "I want people to be moderate. I want people to work together. I'm all about togetherness but unfortunately, there are some people we can't work with."

Right now it's basically a t-shirt shop on Main Street. But Ben-Dov wants to turn it into a combination of a coffee shop, speaker's corner and political action center for Donald Trump and candidates for Congress who support the president.

Ben-Dov says he wants to open satellite offices across the country. In the poster for the store in Webster, Ben-Dov is asking for $2,000 donations. 

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "You're asking for donations. Where does that money go?"

Bruce Ben-Dov, "Trump Team Deplorable" owner: "Well, right now it's going to building out the center. I'd like to have a coffee shop type environment. I'd like to bring speakers in."

Ben-Dov says he has not received a single donation and the Go Fund Me account he started five days ago is still at zero. He says he has not filed as a political action committee.

But his store is getting serious attention. A post on the Webster Facebook page Sunday got more than 600 comments.  

"I don't want to cause unrest. I want it to be peaceful," he said. "And I want it to be somewhere where we can voice our opinion. Our conservative point of view."

News10NBC talked to a handful of business owners on Main Street. They told News10NBC that they're concerned about the store but declined to talk on camera.

The shop next door is called Nest Things. The owner, Gail Maier, says she talked to Bruce Ben-Dov before his store opened. 

Brean: "When you talked to Bruce, what did you say to him?"
Gail Maier, Nest Things: "Just that I believe that we should not use this as an opportunity to provoke. But more an opportunity to come together."

Brean: "What's the reaction you've got from people driving by or walking by?"
Bruce Ben-Dov: "Overall very positive reaction. The day is bad when you have to say, are you a Trump supporter? And then you have to go (in a whisper) yeah, yeah, I support Trump. And you have to whisper that." 

News10NBC asked Ben-Dov if the president knows about what he's doing. He said he probably does now. He has not called the White House personally. 

Each new business in Webster has to file a $25 certificate with the village. By the time News10NBC got to the village office around noon on Tuesday, it was already closed for the holiday and the mayor never returned our email.

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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