*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
As a con man, it is nearly certain that except for maybe Bernie Madoff, dirty Donald Trump is without peer in modern times. No, not just because he lied and conned his way to Washington D.C. with free valuable assistance from the Russians and “alt-right rogues” (Nazis) ensconced in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If anyone was doubtful that Trump intends to use the office of the president to increase his wealth, CNN is reporting that while running for office the scam artist turned Republican politician and his family profited to the tune of at least $12.5 million just for running, with some of that money coming directly from taxpayers.
It was reported here that before the ink was dry on a signing deal giving him access to RNC donor money, Trump wasted no time pilfering donor money for personal profit at his Florida resort. It was a “small” con that only earned him over a million dollars entertaining primarily members of the Donald Trump Palm Beach country club. But as it turns out, Trump found other ways to profit off of being a Republican candidate and “indirectly conned taxpayers into patronizing his businesses.”
Apparently the RNC donor bank couldn’t sate his greed and it was a con that Republicans and taxpayers should have seen coming. After all, Trump did say “I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”
According to a campaign watchdog, running as a Republican was profitable for the crook because his “various Trump enterprises made over $12.5 million;” a figure that is unprecedented in American history and probably grossly underreported. Political campaigns are generally not in the profit-generating business, but this is a con man and it is worth noting that the Trump presidential campaign did not earn millions of dollars in profit, Donald Trump’s businesses and family did. It is a portent of things to come and exactly what most conscious human beings are certain is going to happen regularly with corrupt Trump in the White House.
A lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center, Larry Noble, expressed to CNN that Trump’s personal “campaign yield” is beyond unprecedented; “I don’t think we’ve ever seen one like this.” As noted above, Trump is a con man without peer; particularly because he exists to make money off of other people, and besides Republican donors, Trump made money off of taxpayers as well.
Of special note within the “eight-digit profit margin” is about $1.6 million Trump “earned” by flying the Secret Service around on his private Boeing 757 jet. It is typical for a campaign to charter a jet for the candidate and staff, while the secret service provides transit for its own agents. But according to several reports, “Trump turned that tradition on its heels, using his own aviation company to provide campaign transportation, and charging the federal government airfare for his required security entourage.” According to CNN, Trump’s aviation company alone collected about $8.7 million during the 18-month campaign.
There is a reason so many Americans are criticizing, and warning about, Trump’s intent to mix his “business and politics to an unprecedented degree.” A campaign finance lawyer with Akerman LLP, Brett Kappel, said “The taxpayers are actually reimbursing Trump for the travel of the Secret Service agents. It’s just another example of how the Trump campaign has taken an unprecedentedly large amount of its money and spent it at Trump-owned facilities.”
Politico pointed out that Trump typically promoted, or advertised, the awesome quality of his properties throughout the campaign. And the New York Times reported that his daughter, Ivanka, sat in on an ‘official’ meeting with the prime minister of Japan. Ms. Trump’s clothing line company does business with the Japanese government. Despite Trump saying he couldn’t possibly mix business with governing, there can be no doubt that Trump will continue finding creative ways to “monetize his connection to the White House” and increase his wealth.
It is a sad state of affairs, but with Trump going to Washington and having control and authority over the Department of Justice and top investigative agencies, he will have veritable free reign to use his power as president to increase his wealth at home and particularly around the world. Oh it is true Trump promised to bifurcate his business interests from his intent to tyrannize Americans, but he lies at about the same frequency that most humans draw breath.
He already canceled, not postponed, canceled a press conference he promised would carefully lay out in front of the American people precisely how he was going to “disentangle the conflicts of interest posed by his far-flung business interests.” Canceling promises (lying) is a pattern with Trump who also pledged to the American people that “we’re working on” releasing his tax returns to exhibit the transparency and honesty of Donald J. Trump. He also swore that he would produce evidence that he never groped a woman on an airplane. He also vowed to hold a press conference for the sole purpose of clearing up his wife’s messy immigration history. But like his tax returns, “grabbing pussy” on airplanes, clarifying Melania’s foreigner issues, and his alleged business divestiture plan, they never happened because it is a typically lying Trump pattern the American people are going to see over and over again.
Donald Trump is a scam artist and it was too bad he swindled the RNC into giving him access to donor money to transfer directly to his businesses, but that was their problem and gross underestimation of the man’s greed. That he conned taxpayers into paying him for flying secret service protection is all the more telling. Remember, this cretin, Donald Trump, said he would be the first “presidential candidate to run and make money on it” and after experiencing the realization of that prophecy, Americans should brace for how much money he is going to make off of taxpayers as president with no-one to stop him.
Image: Brigette Supernova/Daily Beast
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.