Canadian ‘Billionaire Donald’ rooting for Trump to win again, COVID to lose

Donald Trump impersonator Donald Rosso who also goes by “Billionaire Donald,” poses with fans at a 2019 Trump rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Donald Rosso/Facebook MANDATORY CREDIT
Donald Trump impersonator Donald Rosso who also goes by “Billionaire Donald” says business has been slow ever since COVID-19 shut down US-Canada border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Donald Rosso/Facebook MANDATORY CREDIT

It takes Donald Rosso four minutes to turn into Donald Trump.

The 63-year-old from London, Ont., is one of several people around the world who work as impersonators of the United States president.

Rosso says his features are so similar to the real deal, he hardly puts in any effort.

“It’s terrific,” says Rosso, who goes by the stage name Billionaire Donald.

Eleven years younger than the actual Trump, Rosso says he’s just an inch shorter and weighs about the same — 240 pounds. And although his hair is thicker, his natural blond mane can be easily made to look like Trump’s famous comb-over.

“My hands are just significantly bigger,” Rosso adds with a laugh.

About four years ago, Rosso sold some juice bars he owned in Canada and was living in Mexico with his wife when he got into a bad motorcycle accident.

He says when money began getting tight, he woke up one morning with one of the most magnificent, terrific and greatest ideas he has ever had.

“We hung up sheets in the bathroom, and I gave a camera to my wife and she started taking pictures and put them on this website.

“And I became Billionaire Donald.”

About a month later, Rosso got a call from New York to be in a parody movie of the 1988 hit “Big” starring Tom Hanks.

The movie was called “Yuge.”

From there, he says, his career took off.

He made an appearance in Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

And he has been all over the United States attending Trump rallies, Republican conventions and even a Valentine’s dinner in Detroit, where he met adult film actress Stormy Daniels just as she filed a lawsuit against Trump.

“Unfortunately, I was unable to take a picture with her because of those lawsuits.”

The lead-up to Tuesday’s U.S. election would have been even busier for Rosso had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of the Canada-U. S. border.

“My work is primarily in the United States, like 99 per cent,” Rosso says. “This virus has wiped me out.”

He says he has had to decline a lot of offers and is mostly attending events as Trump virtually.

“Honest to God, it’s very disappointing for me. I’ve worked the last three years for this year. I have turned down so many jobs and it breaks my heart.”

Rosso says there isn’t much work for him to pose as Trump in Canada, because Canadians don’t like the president as much as his followers in the U.S. do.

“I did a gig in Toronto, for example, but years ago. And I made people really angry. People in Toronto hate Trump.”

Rosso says he’s a Trump fan and would vote for him if he were an American citizen. He says he hopes Trump is re-elected and, once the border reopens, Rosso will be back in business.

“I like that I entertain people and I like that I get to stay at some pretty swanky hotels and eat at some swanky restaurants.”

“I’ve been in every kind of limousine in the world, and I get to travel.”

And unlike term limits on U.S. presidents, Rosso wants to keep impersonating Trump for as long as he can.

“One day, I’ll meet Mr. Trump, or even Trump Jr., and keep going. But it would be very, very helpful if this virus was to end.”

— By Fakiha Baig in Edmonton

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

CoronavirusDonald Trump

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Kevin Cortes, Matt Crist, Cris Martin, Mike Moore and Steve Mancini were delighted by the amount of support they received while collecting donations during a past Stuff the Cruiser event at the Ukee Co-op. (Westerly File photo)
West Coast set to ‘Stuff the Cruiser’ on Saturday

Food Bank on the Edge has three easy and safe ways for folks to donate

Nuu-chah-nulth language champion Tim Masso holds his Rainy Coast Arts Award. (Jessie Masso photo)
Masso and Wenstob receive 2020 Rainy Coast Arts Award

Tla-o-qui-aht brothers share Pacific Rim Arts Society honour

Pamela Evans gazes lovingly at her four-year-old French bulldog Jack on Thursday, Nov. 5. The energetic young pup has regained his usual rambunctiousness after recently recovering from a significant illness brought on by consuming discarded cannabis new Brown’s Beach in Ucluelet. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Discarded cannabis a “frequent” threat to pets in Tofino-Ucluelet

“I couldn’t grab him fast enough to get it out of his mouth before he swallowed it.”

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO
Four Alberni schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

Exposures occurred between Nov. 19 and Nov. 25 depending on the school

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Most Read