Don Jr. Wants To Talk About Who Grifting? LOL, Okay Deej!
The trollspawn has spoken!
"Debate me, you coward," he blarped plaintively on HBO to a roomful of seal-clapping rubes, hoping against hope that this time, finally, DADDY WILL BE PROUD OF HIM.
I was an international businessperson before my father got into politics. That's what we did. I'm not going to say I haven't benefited from my father's last name, just like Hunter Biden did. I'd be foolish to say that. But I haven't benefitted from my father's taxpayer-funded office, okay? Hunter Biden, his father becomes VP, all of a sudden he goes over to the Ukraine. And he's making $83,000 a month. So, the media likes to do this sort of false equivalence, you know, you're doing this, you're doing that. We stopped doing any new international business deals when my father won the presidency. So, you know what would be great? I'll let you host it. You moderate a debate between Hunter Biden and myself. Come on, let's do it, seriously! We can go full transparency, we show everything. And we can talk about all of the places where I'm supposedly grifting, but Hunter Biden isn't.
Sadly, Daddy will not be proud. Because once again, Junior has forgotten the first rule of Trump tax returns, which is NEVER TALK ABOUT TRUMP TAX RETURNS. Donald Trump spent the past three years in a trench war to keep his tax returns secret, and this dumbass is out there offering to share them with the world?
Besides which, David Fahrenthold just got through ritually pantsing the even dumber Trump failson for upcharging the shit out of the Secret Service for hotel rooms after Stupid Fucking Eric told Yahoo Finance, "If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free — meaning, like, cost for housekeeping," adding for good measure, "It saves a fortune because if they were to go to a hotel across the street, they'd be charging them $500 a night, whereas, you know we charge them, like $50." Which was equivalent to waving a giant red flag emblazoned with the words GORE ME! in front of Fahrenthold and Forbes's Dan Alexander, who'd already busted the Boy Genius pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from charitable events after claiming to host them "100% free of charge."
In point of fact, the Secret Service does not stay at Trump properties "for free." Trump has charged the Secret Service $650 a night for rooms at Mar-a-Lago (he seems to have reduced that fee slightly in 2018), and pocketed $520 to $546 per night from the State Department. At his Bedminster Club in New Jersey, the Secret Service forked over $17,000 a month in rent from July to October, 2017 for a three-bedroom cottage, renting the property for at least four straight months. NBC reports that the Department of Homeland Security spent $159,000 at Trump properties in 2017 alone. The Trump administration has gone to absurd lengths to keep information about government spending at Trump's businesses out of the public record, and still Fahrenthold was able to document $471,000 in checks from the US government to Trump's companies, which is clearly just a drop in the bucket.
Aside from that, though, Deej, we can think of one or two other instances where Trump's family business has benefitted off his taxpayer funded office. Like those military planes who suddenly ramped up their refueling stops at Prestwick Airport in Scotland in 2019, which "necessitated" billeting service members at Trump's money-losing Turnberry resort. Or the Saudi government booking 500 rooms at the Trump Hotel in DC immediately after the 2016 election, another Fahrenthold scoop. Or the T-Mobile executives who more or less parked themselves there and wandered around the lobby in their branded gear for months while seeking Trump administration approval for a merger with Sprint in 2018. (Fahrenthold again!) Or the "ghost bookings," where a trade association and foreign government allegedly paid for large blocks of rooms at Trump properties and failed to show up. Or the many foreign delegations who book their retinues and holiday parties at Trump properties, because, as one Asian diplomat told the Washington Post, "Isn't it rude to come to his city and say, 'I am staying at your competitor?'" Or the fact that Trump was only prevented from scheduling next year's G7 summit at the Trump Doral resort by massive public outcry. Or the many, many foreign and domestic leaders Trump has entertained at Mar-a-Lago, paying himself for the privilege, including last goddamn weekend when the president hosted his Brazilian Mini-Me Jair Bolsonaro at Mar-a-Lago, at taxpayer expense.
And that doesn't even include the massive infusion of cash that Don, Jr. and his family get from the RNC, the RSC, the RGA and every other Republican outfit in the country, for whom it is now standard operating procedure to book all events at a Trump property. Or Don Jr's speaking fees. Or his legal fees being paid by the campaign. Or his girlfriend getting paid by the campaign. Or the hundreds of thousands of dollars in "donations" the Trump hotel in DC pocketed from the presidential inauguration.
Anyway, OTHER THAN THAT, Don Jr. hasn't made a penny off his father's presidency. And you can take that to the bank — where you'll probably run into Junior, cashing another check from the US Treasury.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.