President Trump has been accused of profiting from the Presidency before. But a new report from 45’s New Years Eve party in Mar-a-Lago shows Trump in an even greedier light.
Reports indicate that those welcomed at the President’s New Year’s Eve party in Palm Beach paid a 14% more expensive ticket price this year, Trump’s first NYE as POTUS and a another clear sign of a willingness to exploit the Oval Office. Guests of club members paid a steep 30% increase for tickets, $750 instead of $575.
Trump was slammed by Presidential historian Richard Painter for peddling influence.
“He can easily be contacted by members of Mar-a-Lago, so people who pay him or pay his company money are getting preferential access,” Painter said of Trump’s gala in The Guardian. “If you go to the bar, you run into prominent government officials. So it’s lobbying, but it’s not lobbying that’s going to be disclosed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.”
“None of this is covered by criminal bribery statutes but it still looks absolutely terrible.”
Indeed. The fleecing of club members in exchange for their “executive” privileges hasn’t been simply limited to ticket prices. It was reported at the beginning of 2017 that membership prices have doubled since Trump won the election.
For the record, the menu at the party included Lobster Ravioli, Sliced Tenderlion, and Sea Bass. The soft lighting and cheerful atmosphere served to mask backroom discussions.
White House aides are admitting that the President’s accessibility – and willingness to walk the line between glad-handling and bribery – is a concern.
“At Mar-a-Lago, anyone who can get within eyesight changes the game,” said one former official.
CNN investigators determined that a large velvet rope surrounding Trump’s table on New Year’s Eve was meant as a literal and symbolic “barrier” to guests or journalists probing to gain influence.
Meme-makers didn’t take long to notice the irony:
Guy's gotta make a buck. pic.twitter.com/OT0aM2MsWt
— Mendocino Bill (@BillMendocino) December 31, 2017
Wouldn’t it be ironic of Trump, who famously said he was too rich to be bought and sold, turned out to have been selling-off his agenda to the 1% after all?