Donald Trump and his for-profit presidential campaign thought they had the market cornered after winning the Republican nomination, but an enterprising fellow grifter invaded Trump’s turf and stole $1 million from his supporters (marks).
Because Donald Trump has no digital campaign operation to speak of, a grifter by the name of Ian Hawes was able to establish a super PAC and begin raising money by running a contest that promised the winner would get to have dinner with Donald Trump.
The money came pouring in, but there was a problem. Donors (marks) thought that they were giving to the Trump campaign. Democrats have run fundraising contests like this one for years, so donors (marks) were easily fooled into believing that the man who lives in Trump Tower would come down from his penthouse and share a quick trip through the McDonalds drive thru with them.
The donors (marks) never read the fine print of the contest that stated that the super PAC was only going to purchase two tickets to a future Trump fundraiser. There was no dinner alone with Trump.
Trump was livid that someone was smart enough to exploit his donors (marks) better than he could so he did what Donald Trump does best. He sent a cease and desist letter.
“You are knowingly defrauding every person who gives you his or her email address or who makes a donation through your unauthorized website,” reads a letter from Trump’s campaign attorney, Donald McGahn, to the super PAC.
“Your organization is using these materials in service of a promise you fully know is false — that visitors who submit their names or make donations thereby earn the chance ‘to have dinner with Donald Trump,’” the letter to Hawes reads. “You cannot possibly provide the prize that your website purports to offer.”
The campaign threatened to sue if the grifter continued to do business on Trump’s turf.
A 25-year-old with no political campaign experience was able to set up a better digital operation that the campaign of the Republican nominee for president. Grifter the younger’s success does do a public service in the respect that his scam points out why Citizens United has got to be overturned.
But let’s face it, the real reason why Trump is outraged is that his donors (marks) money went into somebody else’s pocket other than his own.