Friday, June 24, 2016

His Eye On Profit

In May The Guardian reported

Trump explicitly linked continued British membership to concerns about “migration”. He said: “I think the migration has been a horrible thing for Europe. A lot of that was pushed by the EU.” Trump added: “I would say that they’re better off without it, personally, but I’m not making that as a recommendation. Just my feeling.”

Then on Tuesday, two days before Britons "leapt at a chance to vote against the monsters in their heads (and) may have tanked their economy in the process,"  the Trump campaign, in the person of spokesperson Katrina Pierson, reiterated its support for Great Britain's exit from the European Union.

Something different than ignorance about global economics or the (overwrought) parallel between Trump's xenophobic and anti-establishment campaign and Brexit may have been at work. The New York Times Tuesday revealed

According to documents submitted to the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Trump, whose campaign has just $1.3 million cash on hand, paid at least $1.1 million to his businesses and family members in May for expenses associated with events and travel costs. The total represents nearly a fifth of the $6 million that his campaign spent in the month.

The spending raised eyebrows among campaign finance experts and some of Mr. Trump’s critics who have questioned whether the presumptive Republican nominee, who points to his business acumen as a case for his candidacy, is trying to do what he has suggested he would in 2000 when he mulled making an independent run: “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”

The National Review's Ian Tuttle credited the Daily Beast for the "partial list" of the businessess profiting:

Trump Plaza, Trump SoHo, Trump Café, Trump Grill, Epic Trump Wine Manufacturing, Trump Restaurants, Trump National Golf Club, Trump International Golf Club, Trump International Hotel, Trump Ice. And, on top of all of this, it appears that Trump may be taking a salary. There’s obviously an element of incompetence here, the exigencies of national campaigning being just one of the panoply of things about which Trump is utterly and proudly ignorant. 

There’s also an element of sloth. Fundraising is the drudgework of political life, and Trump hates drudgery. But there’s also the specter of unseemliness — which hangs around Donald Trump with unusual persistence. There is the Trump Network (his maybe-a-pyramid-scheme vitamin operation) and the American Communications Network (the maybe-a-pyramid-scheme tech company he promoted) and Trump University. It was just last month that Trump was facing questions about $6 million supposedly raised for various veterans’ organizations.

And so it was that the British voted to leave the European Union and Donald Trump said nothing to alleviate concerns that his campaign is primarily a money-making scheme.  NPR:

At a press conference from the 9th tee of the golf course, a lighthouse along the rocky coast in the southwest of Scotland in the distance, Trump seemed unconcerned about the precipitous, overnight drop in the British pound. the pound fell to a 30-year low following the vote, but Trump said it could be a good thing — at least for businesses like his.

"Look if the pound goes down, they're gonna do more business," Trump said. "You know, when the pound goes down, more people are gonna come to Turnberry, frankly, and the pound has gone down, and let's see what the impact of that is."

"And maybe today," Nicolle Wallace observes in remarks in remarks beginning at approximately 6:27 of the video below, "his job is to sell those two most beautiful suites and to get them booked."

Trump, whose slogan "Make America Great Again" betrays a belief that the USA is not great, probably does want to make America great, albeit primarily for whites and beautiful women. Regrettably, he believes America is synonymous with his portfolio.

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