Tag: trump grift
All I Want For Christmas Is Melania’s Non-Fungible Token: A One-Act Play

All I Want For Christmas Is Melania’s Non-Fungible Token: A One-Act Play

Melania Trump is speaking on her cell phone from her bedroom at Mar-a-Lago.

MELANIA: I love it, Marc-Antoine. Love is the only word. You are the master, the artist. Your work, your oeuvre, should have its own room at the Louvre. Your Elizabeth Taylor, your Ava Gardner, and this—perfection!

MARC-ANTOINE COULON: Ma chère. Melania, but one has only to paint a few strokes—suddenly, it is your cobalt blue eyes, your eyelashes, your mascara, your eyebrows. It is only you. What do they say? The eyes are the windows to the soul. C’est vrai, ma chère Melania.

MELANIA: What are we charging? One SOL, one Solana blockchain for the non-fungible token, which comes to $182.54.

MARC-ANTOINE: I am honored to collaborate with you in this operation, ma chère Melania. You are—what is the word?—a philanthropist!

MELANIA: For the foster children, to train them in the computers when the fostering is finished. My Be Best initiative. Think of all the people who will contribute and be on my list.

MARC-ANTOINE: It is your vision.

MELANIA: You were so brilliant to add the audio to the NFT.

MARC-ANTOINE: It is the vision complete. Your beautiful words in your own beautiful voice.

MELANIA: “My vision is…look forward with inspiration, strength, and courage.”

MARC-ANTOINE: Ideal words. The pause is ideal. Then the inspiration.

MELANIA: My vision is… And on the website, “an amulet to inspire.”

MARC-ANTOINE: You evoke Cleopatra. And now we will paint the next. Like Cleopatra. We have made the eyes famous. Now le nez, your nose, in profile, like an Egyptian queen. Immortelle!

MELANIA: One SOL or two?

MARC-ANTOINE: Let us see how we do on the eyes.

MELANIA: I would love to see you do your watercolor of Ivanka’s nose. Two watercolors. Before and after.

MARC-ANTOINE: For that we could charge four SOLs.

MELANIA: And the breasts, before and after?

MARC-ANTOINE: Je pense, cinq SOLs. So naughty, ma chère.

MELANIA: Have you been watching the new series of Sex in the City?

MARC-ANTOINE: Je sais il est votre favori.

MELANIA: So sad. The husband, he is “Big,” he dies.

MARC-ANTOINE: Quelle surprise!

MELANIA: This Carrie goes to a party instead of to the Hamptons with her husband. This “Big” stays home. He rides a Peloton. She returns home, he is lying on the floor, holding his chest. Il est mort. He is dead from the bicycle.MARC-ANTOINE: Quel dommage!Tragique!

MELANIA: That is not the tragedy. His will leaves one million dollars to his first wife. She did not know.

MARC-ANTOINE: Impossible!

MELANIA: No prenup.

MARC-ANTOINE: Incroyable!

MELANIA: Can you imagine that? And this “Big,” the actor who plays this “Big,” he is now accused of the sexual harassments. Can you imagine that?

MARC-ANTOINE: Scandale!

Donald Trump enters the room.

TRUMP: Can you get off the phone with your girlfriend? We have an event to do.

MELANIA: Another?

TRUMP: We’ve brought in $463,000 already for just nine of these. Republican candidates lined up around the block, can’t wait to give us their money hand over fist. Sliding scale. More for the personal appearance, more for the photo-op. And more for you, sweetheart. So, get off, put on those stilettos and do a runway walk for us.

MELANIA: Who is it tonight?

TRUMP: Can’t remember. Mo Brooks, Marco Rubio, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

MELANIA: I’ll be right there, Donald.

TRUMP: I’m going out to mingle and I’ll give you a big hand when you come in like a million dollars and you give us the big smile.

Trump exits.

MELANIA: I must go, Marc-Antoine, to another of the so dull fundraisers. I will be thinking the whole time of your next portrait of me.

MARC-ANTOINE: Le profil, pour la reine. Notre queen! Je t’aime. Au revoir.

MELANIA: Sarah Huckabee Sanders…

MARC-ANTOINE: What is a Huckabee Sanders?

MELANIA: Carrie should have had the prenup. Love you. Bye.

Sidney Blumenthal, former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, has published three books of a projected five-volume political life of Abraham Lincoln:A Self-Made Man,Wrestling With His Angel ,andAll the Powers of Earth. His play This Town, about a scandalous White House dog, was produced in 1995 by LA TheatreWorks. This is the twelfth in his "Trump Cycle" series of one-act plays published in The National Memo, including The Pardon, Epstein's Ghost, Ivanka's Choice, Sunset Boulevard, The Exclusive, The Role Model, A Modest Proposal, The Exit Interview, The Hitler Gospel, Father Knows Best, and The Gold Medal Winner.

Trump Squeezing GOP For Everything It's Worth At Fundraisers

Trump Squeezing GOP For Everything It's Worth At Fundraisers

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Kos

For Donald Trump, the grift never ends. And fortunately for him, Republicans are a bunch of well-healed suckers.

Now that Republican lawmakers have gifted the GOP to the twice-impeached, two-time popular vote loser and he is playing kingmaker in primaries across the country, Trump is capitalizing on the chance to squeeze the Republican Party for everything it's worth.

That means charging GOP candidates and organizations hefty fees to hold events at his properties, potentially have him "drop by" your fundraiser and, who knows, maybe plying Trump with money ups your chances of getting an endorsement. According to fresh reporting from the Washington Post, in 2021, GOP candidates and conservative groups had held at least 30 events at Trump properties through mid-December. That's far more than the 13 fundraisers the Post counted in 2020, making clear (as if it wasn't already) that Trump is still the de facto party chief and he’s cashing in on it.

Trump's schedulers just have a few questions before giving you a quote for your Mar-a-Lago (or maybe Bedminster) event: Do you want the just-the-basics treatment (meaning property access and bragging rights), the deluxe package (property access + a Trump drop-in), or the premium all-inclusive plan (property access + a Trump mention on the invite + a Trump drop-in complete with candidate photos, please specify how many!).Not kidding. Trump is monetizing every single element—his property, his name, his attendance, photos with him, etc. And although his endorsement isn't specifically for sale, showering cash on him certainly doesn't hurt. Trump, for instance, just happened to endorse Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for reelection on the very day Rubio held a fundraiser luncheon at Mar-a-Lago. What are the chances?

The Post found that Trump had endorsed 11 of the 20 GOP candidates who held fundraisers at his properties by the time their event took place. But Trump has also withheld his endorsement in certain GOP primaries even after a suitor has booked. Blake Masters, one of several Republicans running for U.S. Senate in Arizona, failed to secure Trump's backing despite holding a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in November.

Nonetheless, Masters found it necessary to give Trump a five-star review.

“I'd been to Mar-A-Lago before, but I’m always blown away when I return. We always knew we wanted to host an event there, and it was especially awesome to learn that President Trump was willing to host us and attend the event. He was a huge draw for dozens of our guests,” Masters said in a statement. Trump's remarks included one of his signature anti-Democratic rants, which Masters called "high energy.”

In fact, no one would dare give a review that wasn't five stars.

“He can bring people to the table who will write checks,” offered Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who held a golfing fundraiser with Trump in May that Graham said raised more than $1 million. “He has real juice.”

So sure, you may have seen video of sullen Trump stopping by random Mar-a-Lago events to cough up a little diatribe about being the 2020 loser, but apparently people are paying for that.

“Between his popularity and the perceived cool factor of Mar-a-Lago, it has a significant attractiveness in and of itself,” says Jonathan Felts, an adviser to Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina, who Trump has endorsed for the state’s open Senate seat and who has also held a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago for his campaign.

The “cool factor” is just priceless.

Here's the WashingtonPost's list:

AT LEAST 20 GOP CANDIDATES HELD EVENTS AT TRUMP PROPERTIES IN 2021
DATECANDIDATESTATEENDORSED?
FEB. 20Sen. Mike LeeUtah
MARCH 5Gov. Kristi NoemS.D.
MARCH 12Sarah Sanders (gubernatorial bid)ArkansasYes
MARCH 13Lynda Blanchard (failed Senate bid)AlabamaNo
MARCH 19Gov. Ron DeSantisFlorida
MARCH 24Max Miller (House bid)OhioYes
APRIL 9Sen. Marco RubioFloridaYes
APRIL 9Sarah Sanders (gubernatorial bid)ArkansasYes
APRIL 23Rep. Mo Brooks (Senate bid)AlabamaYes
APRIL 26Josh Mandel (Senate bid)OhioYes
ARPIL 28Rep. Billy Long (Senate bid)Missouri
APRIL 30Rep. Jason Smith Missouri
JULY 19Rep. Ronny JacksonTexasYes
JULY 27Reps. Claudia Tinney, Beth Van DuyneNY, TXYes
NOV. 10Blake Masters (Senate bid)Arizona
NOV. 11Rep. Ted Budd (Senate bid)NCYes
NOV. 12Kari Lake (gubernatorial bid)ArizonaYes
DEC. 1Herschel Walker (Senate bid)GeorgiaYes
DEC. 7Anna Paulina Luna (House bid)FloridaYes
DEC. 9Texas Attorney General Ken PaxtonTexasYes
FEC Filings: Trump Campaign Funnels Millions From Donors To Trump Businesses

FEC Filings: Trump Campaign Funnels Millions From Donors To Trump Businesses

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to "drain the swamp" and declare war on crony capitalism — and he insisted that if he was elected, there would be a strict separation between his presidency and his business interests. But Dan Alexander, in Forbes, reports that according to Federal Election Commission filings, Trump's campaign has so far paid $2.3 million in campaign funds to his private businesses.

"The most recent expenses look familiar," Alexander notes. "The president accepted $38,000 in rent last month through Trump Tower Commercial LLC, the entity that owns his Fifth Avenue skyscraper."In July, according to the FEC filings, Trump's campaign paid $8000 to the Trump Corporation for "legal and IT consulting." And Trump's campaign also coordinated with the Republican National Committee to pay Trump Tower Commercial LLC $225,000.

In July, the FEC filings show, Trump Hotel Collection received $1000 from his campaign. And some of the $2.3 million went to Trump Restaurants LLC.According to Alexander, the Trump Restaurants payments "may be connected to a kiosk in the basement of Trump Tower that sells campaign memorabilia. It's hard to imagine that the kiosk has been doing much business amid the coronavirus crisis, but the campaign has continued to pay its rent: $3000 per month. Trump Restaurants LLC has gotten $117,000 since its owner became president."

Alexander reports, "Trump's machinations have been going on for years now. Forbes first reported on money moving from his reelection campaign to his business in 2018. The amount has more than doubled since then."

Business Insider's Sonam Sheth, discussing the FEC filings and Forbes' reporting, notes, "This isn't the first time the president's campaign has become entangled with his personal finances. In July, the Washington Post's David Fahrenthold reported that Trump's campaign sent nearly $400,000 to the Trump Organization in just two days."

According to Sheth, "The RNC has spent more than $2 million at Trump Organization hotels and resorts. And Trump's campaign, which is funded in part by donations from the president's supporters and big-dollar donors, has spent more than $14 million at his properties."