Update: This story has been thrown into doubt, as Gizmodo pointed out several inconsistencies in it. It seems that trumpscratch.com was registered on March 22, the day after the Observer's article about the site was published. Lucy couldn't have responded to a cease and desist letter about the site on March 1 if the site wasn't created until the 22nd. The Trump Organization said the allegations were "completely false," writing to Gizmodo in an email, "no such letter was ever sent by us."
This story was originally published on March 22, 2017, at 11:30 a.m.
We don't know how to break it to you, but the president might have gone after a teenager for making a cat website.
Lucy, a 17-year-old from San Francisco who will clearly own us all in the future, launched a site called trumpscratch.com while looking for web-developer jobs. The site lets users scratch at unflattering photos of Donald Trump's face with cute virtual kitten paws. It got about 1,200 visitors within its first few weeks — and one of them was apparently the general counsel for the Trump Organization.
(Note: Please don't visit trumpscratch.com at work; it is definitely no longer a kitten site.)
Three weeks after she launched the site, Trump's lawyers sent her a cease-and-desist letter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They claimed that her site infringed on the "internationally known and famous" Trump trademark.
On March 1, she renamed the site kittenfeed.com at the advice of a family lawyer. But Trump's attorneys kept going after her: After she changed the site's name, she told THR, she got another letter about a link she had to an anti-Trump shirt on Amazon.com. She removed that link.
But by then, Lucy was fed up.
"I was going to just let this go, but I think it’s, pardon my French, fucking outrageous that the president of the United States has his team scouring the internet for sites like mine to send out cease and desists and legal-action claims if we don’t shut down," she told the Observer in an email. "Meanwhile, he tweets about The Apprentice ratings and sends out power-drunk tweets about phone tapping. HOW ABOUT BEING THE PRESIDENT?"
There's clearly a pattern of Trump doing things like insulting Snoop Dogg for a video and tweeting about Saturday Night Live when he could be addressing the pressing problems our nation faces. But the major issue here isn't time management: It's power-grabbing for its own sake. Trying to shut down a teenage girl's harmless cat site is nothing if not a way of sending a warning to the rest of us: "Think twice before you speak."
THR reports that Lucy recently added harsher text to her site as a form of protest: "Trump seems tough at first, but he gets weaker with every scratch," says the tagline. She also made the cat scratches more bloody and visible.
However, currently kittenfeed.com seems to be down and is showing an error message — likely from too many people trying to visit.
We've got nothing, guys. This is just depressing.