What’s the point of running for president if you're not making money off of it? At least that’s what Donald Trump hinted to Fortune Magazine back in 2000, according to CBS.
“It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it,” he reportedly said.
Unlike some of the promises he made during his campaign, such as building a wall along the Mexican border, repealing Obamacare, or “draining the swamp,” it seems he'll be keeping this one.
But it looks like some of his real estate associates are looking to get a slice of the pie as well.
Politico reported that within a week of Trump’s election, a well-known New York real estate agency, Douglas Elliman, sent out an e-mail with the subject, “Fifth Avenue Buyers Interested in Secret Service Protection?” to advertise a $2.1 million condo in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Secret Service protection is apparently the hottest new amenity provided by Trump Tower.
Another flier sent out via email by brokers Ariel Sassoon and Devin Leahy reads: “The New Aminity [sic] – The United States Secret Service. The Best Value in the Most Secure Building in Manhattan.”
According to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, the protection of Trump Tower costs taxpayers $500,000 per day, and de Blasio has requested a total of $35 million from the federal government to guard the building until Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Things will be further complicated because the incoming first lady, Melania Trump, and son, Barron, are planning to stay in Manhattan so that Barron can finish school, while the president-elect will be moving into the White House.
Ever since his election, the Trump has been dogged by looming conflicts of interest regarding his business empire and his role as president.
While he has said that he’ll be divesting himself from his businesses and hand over operational duties to his children, it’s been less clear how his business associates may look to profit off of his presidency.
It’s outrageous that Secret Service protection is being hawked by brokers as an “amenity” to wealthy clients, like a fancy gym membership. It’s especially egregious given that it’s funded by taxpayers.
But this was all expected; the presidency is now a business. It might as well be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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