As Trump heads to Paris, identity of his cultured friend ‘Jim’ remains a mystery

Donald Trump touched down in France today, after accepting President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to celebrate Bastille Day. It could be a big step for a relationship that’s had some rocky moments, but back in America, all everyone wants to know is if he’s going to meet up with Jim.

Who’s Jim, you might be wondering? Well… no one knows.

Back in February, Trump gave a speech about Paris in which he said he knew plenty about the city—and its struggles—thanks to his friend Jim, who is, according to Trump, a “very, very substantial guy.”

“Paris? I don’t go to Paris,” Trump says Jim said. Jim no longer goes to Paris, due to the threat of terrorism. Sad! Except  Jim is probably not real. Trump has a history of making up names of people to advance a story, earning a reputation in the ‘80s for posing as his own publicist.

On the eve of Trump’s trip to Paris, the Associated Press dug into the matter. They could not identify Jim.

Whether Jim exists is unclear. Trump has never given his last name. The White House has not responded to a request for comment about who Jim is or whether he will be on the trip.

The New Yorker did an even deeper dive, contacting numerous prominent “Jim’s” to see if they were the one in question. “No,” was the response from all of them.

Trump doesn’t follow any Jims on Twitter. But it’s easy to find Jims with whom he’s crossed paths. Jim Kelly, formerly of the Buffalo Bills? “No, that would not be Jim Kelly,” a representative said. Jim Dolan, the C.E.O. of Cablevision and the chairman of Madison Square Garden, who lent Trump the Rockettes for his inaugural concert? “That’s not him,” his spokesperson responded. Jim Furyk, the golfer? “Not him,” according to his agent. Jim Davis, the footwear mogul, whose support for Trump prompted a hate Web site to declare New Balance “the Official Shoes of White People”? “No, it is not Jim Davis,” a company P.R. manager replied. Jim Inhofe, the senator and climate-change denier, did not respond; neither did Jim McNerney, the former Boeing executive, who is part of the President’s Kitchen Cabinet. Jim Mattis, the “Warrior Monk” general, doesn’t have a wife.

With the very real possibility that he is a very possibly fictitious person, Twitter tried to fill in the blanks.

So who is Jim? Who knows? It could even be you.

David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]