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Owner closes pro-Trump store in Webster after just days in business

WEBSTER, NY (WROC) - A T-shirt shop catering to President Trump supporters, which just opened doors in Webster this week, has already closed.

Signage outside has been removed and the merchandise inside has disappeared from "Trump's Team Deplorable" on Main Street in Webster.

The village mayor tells News 8 that Bruce Ben-Dov told him he left the building due to financial reasons. Speaking with reporter Jeannie McBride Thursday afternoon, the owner confirmed the financial trouble.

"Basically, my comment on it, is that there were regulatory requirements that I found out after the fact and I just don’t have the financial means to meet those requirements," he explains, "so in order to avoid legal liability, I decided to close the store."

Ben-Dov adds, "Basically, I ran out of money. Nothing I can do about that. But I just don’t want to open myself up to legal liability."

Earlier this week, Ben-Dov told News 8 he wanted to create a space where conservatives and liberals felt free to discuss issues, claiming liberals have creating an environment that silenced right-wing viewpoints.

The new store, however, prompted protests on Wednesday from opponents who said the store promoted hate by supporting the president. And questions arose over Ben-Dov's campaign to raise $150,000 to create an activity center after it was learned that he was being sued by American Express over a $10,698 debt.

A GoFundMe account for Ben-Dov's campaign is listed as "complete and no longer active." It raised only $240.

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