Sunday, April 30, 2017

Trump's latest email solicitation is tacky, but is it fraudulent?

You've missed the boat -- it's too late to become a special 100-day member. Yesterday, DonaldJTrump.com sent email soliciting donations saying that "tonight also marks your last chance to go down in the earliest records of our presidency as a special 100-Day Member."


The minimum contribution is $1, but one can contribute up to $2,500 with a single mouse click and even make it a "monthly recurring donation."


In addition to your contribution, you must provide Trump with some information so he can update your mailing-list profile:


(The form says you must provide a true email address, but it does not check).

There is no indication of who is actually getting the money for your "membership" or what organization you are becoming a member of. Who owns the mailing list(s) this solicitation was sent to? Who owns the 100-day club -- the Republican Party? Trump's campaign? Trump? Ivanka or Jared? (DonaldJTrump.com is registered by THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, located in Trump Tower). Follow the money.

This feels tacky -- reminiscent of radio/TV/tent preachers asking for contributions -- but it is no surprise from the man who owns domain names like TrumpFraud.org, TrumpScam.com, TrumpNetworkPyramidScheme.com and TrumpNetworkPonziScheme.com and founded Trump University.

Is there presidential precedent for this sort of thing? Would the Federal Trade Commission consider it fraudulent or misleading? Can you imagine President Obama soliciting funds for membership in a mailing-list club?