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Buying Access

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump and other Republicans blasted the Clinton Foundation for supposedly giving access to the Clintons for donors.

I’ve noticed that for Trump, when he complains about others doing something, it is almost a sure bet that he is doing the same thing. So it should come as no surprise that Trump himself is already up for sale. And why wait? Let’s do it as part of the inauguration!

Donald Trump’s two adult sons have started a new “charity” called the “Opening Day Foundation” (you know, sort of like the Trump Foundation). It is suspicious that the charity was founded in Texas, as neither of them live there, but hey, its Texas and they don’t have all those pesky regulations like they do in New York to get in the way of having a good time.

For the low, low donation of only $1 million, you too can get one of the following lovely prizes: a “private reception and photo opportunity for 16 guests with President Donald J. Trump”; a “multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion for 4 guests with Donald Trump, Jr. and/or Eric Trump, and team”; as well as tickets to other events and “autographed guitars by an Opening Day 2017 performer.”

Not only that, but your identity will be kept secret, so nobody needs to know that you are bribing the children of our president. And you can write off your bribe donation, because the Trumpkins promise that “all net proceeds from the Opening Day event will be donated to conservation charities”, although they don’t name any specific charities and other quotes seem to indicate that they will mainly be “sportsman’s charities” (you can imagine what those might be). Nor do they specify how the net proceeds will be calculated, so the “expenses” could include hefty payoffs to the founders of the charity.

According to the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign reform organization:

This is problematic on so many levels. This is Donald Trump and the Trump family using a brand new organization to raise $1 million contributions for a vague goal of giving money to conservation charities, which seems a way of basically just selling influence and selling the ability to meet with the president.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    Why do I think that the people who voted for Trump don’t have a million dollars to donate?

    1/2 the animals on this earth have vanished in the last 40 years, not species, but animals. No excuse to hunt or fish.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 5:08 am | Permalink
  2. Yudith wrote:

    Duck Unlimited has better check this foundation carefully as they are the only “conservation charity” that can double as “sportsman’s charity”. Therefore, the money not spent on legal fees and huge paintings of Donald Trump will go to them.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 5:52 am | Permalink
  3. Ralph wrote:

    Maybe they need the money to cover bribery expenses trying to lure any A-list performers to the inauguration. I hear the best they’ve been able to book so far is the runner-up to “America’s Got Talent” to sing the National Anthem. Oooo, Jackie Evancho! Be still my beating heart! Maybe it’s Trump thinking ahead, she’ll be legal dating material in a couple years.

    Word is, they’ve even offered ambassadorships to a few, but still no dice. I haven’t vetted that story, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

    Hey, speaking of dice, maybe Andrew “Dice” Clay is available for a gig at one of the balls. He can do his perverted Mother Goose act. Or maybe Ted Nugent will show up to play a rousing patriotic rendition of Wango Tango, most apropos for Herr Gropenfuhrer.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink
  4. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Really? This is fake news with unchecked information from a liberal rag news organization. NBC even said there is not going to be any such pay to play arrangement, hunting trips and the Trump boys are not involved. Come on now, there are plenty of real things to gripe about Trump without regurgitating made up “news”. Just like the 50,000 coffee with Ivanka story.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink
  5. JWHAT wrote:

    I just read the TIME article. Exactly which part or piece do you think is “fake news”?

    I guess this is sort of like the “freedom fighter vs terrorist” argument that depends on your POV, right?

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  6. redjon wrote:

    Is anyone really surprised by this sort of behavior from the Trump clan?

    His detractors will not like it, of course, and his supporters will claim, “Everybody does it,” even though they really don’t.

    Trump continues to lower the bar in American politics, just as he has done in his business dealings, while somehow managing to claim an air of respectability.

    But the truth is that, you can’t buy class… and class is something Trump will never, ever have.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  7. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    If you dig into the story, there were people in Texas who formed the non profit and listed the Trump sons, without there knowledge, to give legitimacy to the event. Their names have since been removed. Here is an excerpt from the AP:

    A few days before the invitation went out, a new nonprofit called Opening Day Foundation was registered in Texas. Paperwork filed with the state lists the two adult Trump sons and their Texas-based friends Gentry Beach and Tom Hicks Jr. as the nonprofit’s directors. The documents were first reported by the Center for Public Integrity.

    But Eric and Donald Trump Jr. had no idea they were named in the new nonprofit and have asked the Texas secretary of state to amend the filing to delete them, according to the Trump transition official. Mark Brinkerhoff, a spokesman for the event planners, also said Tuesday that the Trump sons should not have been listed as directors of the nonprofit.

    Here is the whole article, which includes the Idea for coffee with Ivanka to raise money for St Judes:

    I could start a non profit or a for profit company in the US and out IK’s name on it or anyone here, but that doesn’t mean they 1.) know about it, or 2.) endorse it.

    So there will be no pay for play event involving the Trumps, therefore since this was known before the post was placed on this site it is fake news.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    PSgt, I don’t know what you are drinking. I just read your linked AP article, and the Trump boys are still listed as honorary co-chairmen of that charity, and it doesn’t say that they were not involved or didn’t know about it, it just says they didn’t know they were listed.

    The same article states that the $50K coffee with Ivanka thing was real until Eric cancelled it because it looked bad.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink
  9. JWHAT wrote:

    I think this is the scariest thing about Trump and the “alt right”. They are doing their damnedest to delegitimize true fact-based journalists and journalism so that they can control what information goes to people….and for a significant number of people it seems to be working. We’re in for a rough ride folks.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  10. dave TN wrote:

    If I get this right the donation buys you some one on one time with Don the con and isn’t this the very thing Trump accused HRC of. If Trump is not involved then its therefore just a scam. But my gut instinct tells me he is involved because this is his mo, it may not have his or the families fingerprints on it. But give it time, he is not that stealthy with his shenanigans.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  11. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I know you don’t drink IK so I can’t say what are you drinking, LOL. However nor does the article they did know about it. It is quite possible that it was an idea to raise money for conservation of the environment that they talked about and then the TX boys just ran with unbeknownst to the Trumps. Or maybe after batting the idea around decided against it. Which is all we’ll. But I, nor you either the press is unaligned to make that determination as none of us were there. All that being said, the event is not happening so why is it news on your site? I know, and so do you.
    So as Obama told Putin to just “cut it out” on the hacking in September, so should the false narratives. By all means report was is real and I won’t interject. There is plenty of actual doodoo that Trump will step in.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink
  12. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Sorry about the un-autocorrects. 🙂

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
  13. Bobsuruncle wrote:

    So it’s not something to consider as news that the trump family tried to sell time w Ivanka but had to walk it back?

    I guess, by that logic, it wasn’t news that the republicans voted 30+ times to repeal Obamacare since its implementation since it never passed. Even though it wasted millions, but that doesn’t count, for it…

    Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 1:11 am | Permalink
  14. Jonah wrote:

    I think its wise for Trump fans to be closely watching family involvement in his daily presidential duties. For example why did 4 slots out of 25 need to be filled with family members at the tech summit?

    Couldn’t they have been better filled with 4 other tech execs? The CEO of Palantir was present. Palantir BTW is heavily backed by Thiel who was notably praised by Trump for being supportive early on in his campaign. Seemed like an unnecessary shot at the other execs.

    If this tech summit is a preview of how Trump will conduct his presidential summits, there’s going to be a lot of lines crossed and whoever is closest to him is going to profit.

    Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 4:42 am | Permalink
  15. JWHAT wrote:

    Conflating work of honest journalists with something like the Comet Ping Pong fake news is just horribly wrong. Cut it out.

    Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 5:50 am | Permalink
  16. Ralph wrote:

    No worries folks. Presidential candidate emeritus and Contract on America founder, Newt Gingrich, informs us that if the Trump clan should ever appear to “get too close to the edge” Congress can always change the ethics laws. After all, the former revisionist history professor par excellence teaches us, ““We’ve never seen this kind of wealth in the White House, and so traditional rules don’t work,” Gingrich said Monday during an appearance on NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show” about the president-elect’s business interests. ‘We’re going to have to think up a whole new approach’.”

    And besides, as the traditional marriage expert, serial adulterer and children’s book co-author (with his third wife) argues, the American people were well aware they were voting for “a very very successful billionaire businessman” and shouldn’t be surprised that there are certain changes that Trump shouldn’t be expected to make, including giving up licensing on his iconic last name or his communications with his adult sons, who are gearing up to take over the business. After all, it was the Trump resume and financial history that were among the foremost reasons he won the election, so why change now? Change is hard and we’re busy enough making America great again.

    So there you have it, a “whole new approach”. When those pesky ethical dilemmas get in the way of making America…you know, just change the ethics laws. Emoluments Clause got you down? No problemo, says the Fox News ethical expert contributor who made bonzo bucks on his book while Speaker of the House, the President also has the Constitutional power to “pardon [advisers or even himself] if anyone finds them to have behaved against the rules. Period. Technically, under the Constitution, he has that level of authority.”

    Done and done!

    Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  17. PatriotSGT wrote:

    JWAT – honest journalists? Very few and far between. Just like politicians and lawyers. One look at the front pages of leading “news” sites reveals tilts and swings to the right and left. Point # 2, if the honest journalists were such during the election how did Trump win, when most honestly reported that Clinton would win an electoral landslide with as high a certainty as 95% based on their “honest” polls. If they were so honest and not driving a scripted narrative then why are we not getting ready to coronate the first women president. I think everybody should be very leery of “journalists” no matter what their narrative. Too many articles include opinion derived “facts” that are not.

    Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink
  18. Iron Knee wrote:

    PSgt, you ask “how did Trump win”. Well, we are seeing more and more hard data that the reason Trump won was because of Comey’s October surprise letter. See

    It had nothing to do with honesty. They were honestly reporting the results of polls. The problem is that polls do not change fast enough to react properly to last minute news. And remember, Trump barely won.

    But I guess you could just reject this as more lies from the lamestream media. See how that works?

    Friday, December 23, 2016 at 12:01 am | Permalink
  19. ebdoug wrote:

    A further look at how it works: Eric tells the IRS that he “can” use the golf courses for free because they are family owned. He then gets tax exempt status. After the charity is held and the money collected, Eric then pays the family golf course for rent for the charity event so the money collected ends up in the family pockets.

    Friday, December 23, 2016 at 4:03 am | Permalink
  20. Ralph wrote:

    Speaking of Comey, Trump may have feigned disdain for the Super PAC during the campaign, but he was one essential arm of the Trump Super PAC that helped make all the difference: Putin-Assange-Comey.

    Comey should be indicted under the Hatch Act for his interference in a political campaign, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a Republican led Congress to prosecute a flaunted law that helped them gain monopoly power. Besides, when you mention the act to most of their base, they probably think its something submariners batten down before they submerge.

    Friday, December 23, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink