'A for-profit show': Peeking inside Donald Trump's new multimillion-dollar political money-making deal

'A for-profit show': Peeking inside Donald Trump's new multimillion-dollar political money-making deal
Former President Donald Trump during a January 15, 2022 speech in Florence, Arizona (Gage Skidmore).

Former President Donald Trump now has a new stream of income that appears to play on his political aspirations for the purpose of personal gain.

According to The Washington Post, Trump is now being paid to make public speeches with ticket prices costing anywhere from approximately $55.00 for general admission to VIP tickets as high as a reported $800 each and “presidential” tier tickets priced at $3,995 each.

While many would assume these funds would be going toward the former president's political action committee, which has raked in more than $100 million, The Post's Josh Dawsey, Isaac Arnsdorf, and Sarah Fowler have revealed the funds are actually going into Trump's personal pocket.

READ MORE: How Washington’s ‘supplicant super-careerists’ became ‘essential lapdogs in Trump’s kennel’: journalist

"Instead, it was a for-profit show, more like a rock concert," the writers reported. "The proceeds benefit Trump personally as part of a multimillion-dollar deal to speak at the events, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations."

They also noted: "The program, the 'American Freedom Tour,' is the work of a longtime motivational-speaker promoter with a trail of bankruptcy filings and business disputes across the country. A Trump adviser said very little vetting was done on the organizers."

Larry Ward, a Republican consultant and spokesperson for the political tour, has shared details about Trump's new venture but refrained from offering details about the financial aspects of it. "The tour was inspired by a nation of disappointed voters and a love for President Donald J. Trump,” he said

Taylor Budowich, a spokesperson for the former president, has also echoed similar sentiments. “There is a tremendous demand for President Trump in every corner of the country and he is driven by his love for America to continue leading the MAGA movement into 2022 and beyond by sharing his America First vision in front of massive crowds,” Budowich said.

READ MORE: Trump loyalists move ahead with 'sham' election project designed for voter intimidation: report

Although some argue that these types of paid events are nothing new, Mark K. Updegrove —author of “Second Acts: Presidential Lives And Legacies After The White House— explained how Trump's venture differs.

“Paid presidential speeches are nothing new. It’s nice work if you can get it,” said Updegrove, who also serves as president of the LBJ Foundation. “The difference here is Trump is doing this under the guise of a political rally. There might be a little deception there.”

Jeffrey A. Engel, director of Southern Methodist University's Center for Presidential History, also highlighted the problematic conflict of interest in Trump's case.

“You have a person who is effectively running for president who is accumulating financial IOUs,” said Engel. “Donald Trump has never cared if his financial dealings appear improper. Trump plays by different rules.”

READ MORE: Real estate firm connected to Trump Organization held in contempt for failing to submit business documents

The latest report comes as speculation looms about Trump potentially running for re-election in 2024. Although he has not yet officially announced his presidential candidacy there is chatter about him possibly doing so "unusually early."

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