Donald Trump’s most desperate cash grab yet

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Donald Trump continues reminding us of his greedy obsession with trying to squeeze money out of situations, especially when he is in a bind. Trump is now telling down-ballot Republican candidates that if they wish to use his name, image, and likeness in their campaign ads, it will cost them 5%.

About a year ago, I wrote about how Trump had already warned the National Republican Campaign Committee and ten GOP consulting firms not to use his image for fundraising without his permission. Donning his victim hat, the petty grifter argued that it unfairly kept him from profiting while interfering with his quest to “defeat Joe Biden and Make America Great Again.”

In a new letter announcing the 5% fee, the Trump campaign again claims that any uncompensated use of Trump’s name, image, or likeness hurts his campaign financially while lowering the value of Trump’s endorsement. By swiftly instituting the fee, Trump seeks to maximize his revenue without debating the merits of the move. It’s yet another step toward getting the GOP’s full loyalty and reliance on a man who now spends his days counting sheep in a courtroom.

In a somewhat bizarre passage, the letter also makes clear that down-ballot candidates who wish to fork over even more money than 5% are quite welcome to do so. “Any split that is higher than 5% will be seen favorably by the RNC and President Trump’s campaign and is routinely reported to the highest levels of leadership within both organizations,” the letter encourages.

In the meantime, Trump’s liability has been rising along with his toxicity, inspiring more Republicans in Congress to announce their retirements, sometimes even before their term ends, putting their slim House majority at risk. Trump is falling in the polls as he faces the increasing prospect of losing both his money and freedom, rather than regaining the White House. Trump’s selfish, transactional, and petty 5% demand is classic Trump—and yet another sign of his failing campaign’s growing desperation.

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