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Monday, December 09, 2019

Fraud And Abuse Charged In Trump’s Gimmicky Campaign Fundraising

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

For nearly two years the Trump re-election campaign has been running apparently fraudulent fundraising contests that promise breakfast, lunch, or even dinner with the President – reportedly at least sixteen separate contests over the course of nearly two years. There was just one winner announced and that person never dined with the president.

That’s called fraud. It’s illegal.

(Don’t expect anyone to prosecute Trump or the campaign for it.)

Veteran journalist and founder of both Popular Information and ThinkProgress, Judd Legum, has been chasing down this story for months, and publishing the results in his email newsletter and to Twitter.

6. We know this one contest was a fraud.

But there is still no evidence that anyone won the 14 other meals with Trump that were promised by the campaign

Here is what we know https://t.co/2de4xHOcCH pic.twitter.com/K1YxKXZk0k

— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) November 7, 2019

And some more which show some of the fraudulent ads the campaign has run:

On Monday I published a report raising questions about whether anyone actually won 15 Trump campaign contests promising meals with Trump

The campaign’s rebuttal is a story of a woman who won a breakfast w/Trump AND TRUMP DID NOT ATTEND

This is fraud.https://t.co/2de4xHOcCH pic.twitter.com/o0YqYLLMrd

— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) November 7, 2019

2. The promise of breakfast with Trump was used in hundreds of Facebook ads to entice supporters to donate money.

“I really want to discuss our Campaign Strategy for the rest of the year with you over breakfast,” Trump said in a Facebook ad in September https://t.co/2de4xHOcCH

— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) November 7, 2019

Those are just a few of the examples of the Trump campaign apparently breaking the law and committing fraud, according to at least one expert.

But on Friday President Trump tweeted about another “contest,” and this one, if it doesn’t violate the law, violates ethical norms respected by presidents for generations.

I will be announcing the winners of the #MAGACHALLENGE and inviting them to the @WhiteHouse to meet with me and perform. Good luck! https://t.co/3PYzOvYz17

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2019

It’s unclear what the #MAGACHALLENGE is, exactly. Some are calling it a pro-Trump campaign rap contest started by rapper Bryson Gray.

But it absolutely is a campaign-related political event, now that President Trump has declared he will be “announcing the winners of the #MAGACHALLENGE and inviting them to the @WhiteHouse to meet with me and perform.”

If that’s not illegal, it is definitely an abuse of the power of the Office of the President. All prior presidents have worked hard to separate political campaigning from the White House and from the Office of the President.

Until now.

IMAGE:  Donald Trump gestures as he attends the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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Former President Donald Trump at an American military cemetery near Paris in 2018

AP Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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