Why Did Trump Choose The Names He Did for His Impostor Roles?

— Trump pretended he was his own publicist, his own vice president and his own secretary

Michael Weddle
9 min readSep 14, 2020

John Miller

This is his most famous impostor name as a recording was released when he was running for president. The audio has him glowingly boosting about himself. On May 13, 2016, The Washington Post reported Trump posed as his own publicist in a 1991 interview with People Magazine reporter, Sue Carswell. During that interview Trump posed as his own publicist John Miller, vociferously bragging about conquests over women.

In response Trump denied he was John Miller but later admitted it was a joke. If a joke, why does he have a sustained history of doing this?

John Baron (Barron)

Throughout the 1980’s, Trump frequently used the name John Barron or John Baron as an alias. He was supposedly a vice president of Trump’s business dealings. He first used the name defending himself against accusations he betrayed an agreement with the Metropolitan Museum of Art concerning two sculptures the museum wanted before he destroyed the Bonwit Teller building so he could build Trump Tower.

He used it again in 1983 to announce Trump would not to buy the Cleveland Indians, in 1984 when he lied about Trump’s wealth to get included on the Forbes 400 wealth listing and again in 1984 to announce Trump Castle would not be built in New York City. In 1985, he used it to lobby the USSF football league to reimburse him for signing a famous football player and also to announce he was buying the Hilton Hotel in Atlantic City.

Trump’s use of both John Barron and John Baron ended when he testified in a 1990 lawsuit that he may have used the name as an alias. Interestingly, he never used it again. However, the “Barron” namesake lived on as the child he had with his 3rd wife, Melania, became named Barron.

Carolin Gallego (Trump’s Supposed Secretary)

Carolin Gallego?

Astonishingly, in 1992, Trump manifests as a woman posing as his own secretary. Of course, to impersonate a woman he could only pull it off in writing. He did. Below, is a letter that idolizes Trump. It includes many of the hallmarks of Trumpspeak, including spelling, phraseology and, of course, the compulsion to project himself as god’s only gift to women.

Based on the fact that I work for Donald Trump as his secretary — and therefore know him well — I think he treats women with great respect, contrary to what Julie Baumgold implied in her article … I do not believe any man in America gets more calls from women wanting to see him, meet him, or go out with him. The most beautiful women, the most successful women — all women love Donald Trump.” — Carolin Gallego, December 7, 1992

— New York — Intelligencer — Old Letters — October 24, 2017

David Dennison

One can not blame Trump for use of this name as the it was articulated by Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen when he crafted a non-disclosure agreement with porn star Stormy Daniels (aka Stephanie Gregory Clifford) where Daniels was paid “hush money.” In the agreement, meant to put a lid on Trump’s 2006 affair with the porn star, the Dennison name was used for Trump and Daniels was identified as Peggy Peterson.

How Did Trump Conjure His Fake Names?

A wowzer of a question!

In true mobcentric fashion, Trump today is fond of assigning nicknames both to allies and opponents. It’s therefore not surprising he routinely labels his political opponents. As with any genuine mobster-type, Trump gets downright nasty.

I surmise the names Trump chose for his aliases were spawned from his understanding of a tangled web of mob associations and from his prurient infatuation over sex.

While most of us grew up reading about and mimicking cowboys and Indians it’s my bet Trump saw Al Capone’s St. Valentine’s Massacre as General Custer’s Little Big Horn. Remember, Trump is on record stating he doesn’t like military “losers.”

Regarding the mobside, I’ve always held a sense Trump prided himself as a top dog mobster in the family of money. Anyone else share this impression? It’s not a far-fetched supposition given Trump was protege to famous mob attorney Roy Cohn, his father Fred was renown for mob ties and his grandfather owned a brothel.

Below, according to author Steve Villano, are some of Trump’s alleged mob connections:

· Manny Ciminello; construction contractor, racketeer, tied to S & A Concrete;

· Paul Castellano; head of Gambino Mob; secret owner of S & A Concrete;

· Fat Tony Salerno; head of Genovese Mob; secret owner of S & A Concrete;

· S & A Concrete; Mob-front concrete company, run by Nick Auletta; built Trump Tower and Trump Plaza;

· Willie Tomasello; Fred Trump’s partner on Beach Haven; Genovese associate;

· Nicky Scarfo; Atlantic City/Philadelphia Crime Boss; Cleveland Wrecking Co;

· Cleveland Wrecking Company; mob-front demolition co., hired by Trump;

· Wachtel Plumbing; mob-front co.; hired by Trump in Atlantic City & NYC;

· Teddy Maritas; mobbed-up head of Carpenters Union; NYC Trump contract;

· Circle Industries; Maritas’ mobbed up Drywall Co; Trump hired, NYC;

· John Cody; mobbed-up head of Teamsters Local 282; jailed for racketeering; bragged that “Donald liked to deal with me through Roy Cohn.”

· Nick Auletta: President of S & A Concrete, mob-controlled cement company;

· Joe DePaolo; President of Dic Underhill Co; company with alleged mob connections; helped build Trump Village with Fred Trump;

· Danny Sullivan; partner in SSG, Inc; deal-making arm of Scarfo Mob, negotiated with Trump on land in Atlantic City;

· Kenny Shapiro; scrap-metal dealer, partner SSG; principle financier for Scarfo’s Philadelphia Crime Organization.

John Miller

So where might Trump have gotten the name John Miller? I wondered if there was a New York John Miller connection so I did some searching. I discovered there is a connection that would have been familiar to Trump. John Miller was an NYC journalist, eventually an ABC anchor man and one who interviewed Osama bin Laden. However, during the ’80s when Trump used the name, Miller’s reputation was considerably smaller. He was a crime reporter for WNEW and WNBC. He conducted several interviews with mob boss, John Gotti.

But here’s the kicker. John Miller’s father, also named John Miller, was a man of many talents. But principally he was a gossip columnist, crime investigator and a man who used many aliases. Wikipedia highlights the younger John describing the older John Miller:

“My dad wrote seven columns under six different names… Antonio from Rome. Pierre from Paris. Nigel from London,” Miller has said. His father was also a close friend of Luciano crime family boss Frank Costello, whose wife, Lauretta, was Miller’s godmother.

Could this be how Donald John Trump became John Miller in the 1980s?

John Baron (Barron)

So how would Donald John Trump turn into a John Baron (or Barron)? Turns out there are several famous mobsters named “The Baron.” Here is one who used the name as an alias. Joseph Barboza, Jr., also nicknamed “The Animal.” He was an notorious mob hit man during the 1960s. Now, Trump loves boxing and there are plenty of photos of him with boxing legend Don King. Trump has even sponsored boxing matches. As president of the United States he even attended a UFC fighting match.

In 1949, Barboza changed his name to “The Baron” and fought a boxing career under that name until 1961. In 1964, he legally changed his name from “Barboza” to “Baron.” These would have been very impressionable years for a younger Trump. The “Animal’s” crime gang was under the tutelage of Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi of the Patricia crime family.

There is also a New York mob “Baron” connection. A soldier in the Lucchese crime family, Nicholas Bonina changed his name to “The Baron.” A gambler and narcotics trafficker, The Baron operated out of the Queens borough. Trump, of course, was born in Queens.

Then there was Charles “Babe” Baron, a notorious Chicago mobster and associate of Meyer Lansky and John Roselli. He also knew Jack Ruby. Interestingly, he was also a brigadier general in the Illinois national guard as well as one of the founding fathers of Las Vegas.

Internationally, there was another one.” Italy’s Salvatore Lo Piccolo was also known as “the Baron” (il Barone). A Sicilian mafioso, he was one of the most powerful bosses of Palermo. He invested his illicit profits into real estate and when Italy’s mafioso war heated up and there was competition over leadership, The Baron’s connections stretched to New York’s Gambino family. Money became laundered through US institutions.

Could any of the aforementioned “Barons” have inspired Donald John Trump to become John Baron (Barron) in the 1990s? Who knows!

Carolin Gallego

What on earth could have inspired Trump to create the name Carolin Gallego for being his secretary for purposes of writing a letter to the editor? I couldn’t find any mafioso Gallego connections. So how did Trump come up with the name for his fake secretary?

Well, I figured if it’s not a mob connection then it must be a sex connection. So I did some digging as to what might have been influential at the time he wrote the letter.

Trump, clearly, has an extensive and controversial history on the subject of sex. There are photographs of his appearances at New York’s Studio 54 Club, where live sex was offered. His organization was a sponsor of the Elite’s Look of The Year, Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants and he’s on record making comments about entering beauty contestant dressing rooms. He also has a history of pornstar/centerfold relationships. Then there was the infamous Access Hollywood “pussy-grabbing” statement.

Particularly debilitating are statements he has made regarding pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. There is a 2002 quote from Trump stating that Epstein “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” Then there is this tweet from former NYT/WSJ columnist and author, Tim O’Brien:

Again, how did Trump come up with a name like “Gallego?”

During the ’80s, Gerald and Charlene Gallego became known as America’s first husband-wife serial killers. They murdered 10 victims, mostly teenagers. They kept them as sex slaves before they were murdered. Known as “The Sex Slave Killers,” their story made national headlines. Books, documentaries and YouTube videos were written and made about them. They were unquestionably in the same league as Charlie Manson.

Charlene turned state’s evidence and testified against her husband. In return she received a 17-year prison sentence. Her husband was twice convicted and sentenced to death, in California and in Nevada. In 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992 there were appeals thus keeping the Gallego front and center name in the news.

Could this be how Trump acquired the Gallego name, that he changed Charlene into Carolin? He certainly couldn’t use the name “John” again!


Please understand much of the above is conjecture. Unless something is referenced above, I’m not assuming anything as fact. I’m just a guy sitting at a computer with few research capabilities and simply attempting to pose some interesting questions. I don’t recall any journalist anywhere who has reported on how Trump arrived at his alias names. Given how Trump has lived his life, always bogged down with mob and sex accusations, I find his aliases an interesting topic. What do you think?

Additional Reading



Michael Weddle

Founder of Boston’s Climate Change Band; former NH State Representative; Created Internet’s 1st Anti-War Debate; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!