Donald Trump hates it when anyone but himself takes the Trump name in vain

Former President Donald Trump knows a scammer when he sees one. And apparently, so do the people closest to him.

Of course, among those who are leveraging the Trump name is Trump himself, who has been accused of not paying his workers, stiffening his own lawyers, paying $25 million to settle a fraud lawsuit against his bogus university, and leaving real estate investors on the hook failed projects, launching a litany of gimmicks and failed products, and diverting funds from his children’s cancer charity to his own company – a company so mired in mischief that it has dedicated a spreadsheet to keep track of everything .

Trump carried these ethics into the presidency and beyond, with his political apparatus spending more than $12 million on Trump property and products — including $5,000 on “Trump Ice” water six years after he was hired. Even more incredible, his daughter and son-in-law raked in as much as $640 million during their tenure at the White House.

The audacity of some of his closest followers, who threw stones at each other for snapping the Trump name, seems a bit exuberant. But those vying for positions in Trump’s inner circle have found that the scrimmage with the former president works.

“He’s noticing,” a senior Trump adviser said of those close to the former president who monetize the Trump brand. “He also notes who was there, who will be there and why they are there.”

The “crooks,” this adviser continued, appear to be the people who “disproportionately enriched themselves during Trump’s presidency.”

These names include some of the most well-known grandstanders, profiteers and carnival barkers in MAGA land – from anti-college activist Charlie Kirk to Palm Beach popinjay Roger Stone to alt-right puppeteer and alt-right podcaster Steve Bannon.

But any increase in Trump’s skepticism about the purity of heart around him seems to come at a critical time – as the ex-president, who is being hunted by a series of investigations that have begun to creep into his inner circle, is trying to smoke a possible FBI informant within the walls of Mar-a-Lago and spends millions of dollars in charitable funds to cover legal fees for employees who could turn against him at any time.

While Trump famously loves making money off his own name, he’s not so keen on those around him doing the same. In fact, Trump’s political team created an entire in-house company to manage the 2020 campaign after the 2016 White House bid was littered with allegations of fraud.

That shell company, American Made Media Consultants, processed – and eventually recovered – more than $770 million in expenses. But while AMMC helped ensure transparency within the campaign — following former campaign manager Brad Parscale’s $100 million in 2016 — the setup only drew further accusations of outside cheating because it revealed the true recipients of the payouts of the campaign hidden from the public.

A senior Trump adviser told The Daily Beast that AMMC was formed to address concerns about Parscale’s dual role as campaign manager and media agent.

“After 2016, the campaign attorneys came in and basically said they were paranoid about Brad’s dual role as campaign manager and clearing house for [campaign] Payments,” the consultant said. “They suggested starting a new company to take care of the money side and Brad and Jared [Kushner] said it was a good idea … for the sake of transparency and also because Brad was tired of catching shit at that point.

But that was 2020. And though Trump lost, the post-presidency has been as fraught as ever — according to Trump’s own advisers, at least.

“One mustn’t forget Charlie Kirk,” said a senior Trump aide, while another aide also called Kirk one of the biggest con men in Trump’s orbit.

Kirk rose to MAGA stardom after founding the conservative student organization Turning Point USA. Now, at just 28, some around Trump feel that Kirk and TPUSA are linking up with the former president to “pay in.”

One of the sources expressed surprise – and anger – at the “sheer profit” the conservative group has made just by using a Trumpworld donation line: “We just spoke to the President.”

Asked for comment, TPUSA spokesman Andrew Kolvet did not address the criticism, instead attacking The Daily Beast’s credibility.

“With respect, forgive me if I’m suspicious of an investigation that begins with ‘Two current Trump advisers spoke to ‘The Daily Beast’ on condition of anonymity,'” Kolvet said.

Kirk owes his close relationship with Trump in part to Kimberly Guilfoyle, a longtime spokeswoman for Turning Point — Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancee — who helped forge a close bond between the two men.

“The President likes her very much,” a source close to Trump said of Guilfoyle. But Trumpworld sources also accused Guilfoyle of enriching himself through “access and proximity” to the former president, with stories ranging from luxury clothing to more shocking payouts.

“There is a story of a donor who bought her boots, which were very expensive,” said a consultant. Other sources pointed to Guilfoyle’s previous monthly payments of $15,000 through Parscale, as well as her Jan. 6 speech, which lasted two minutes but netted her $60,000.

A source close to Guilfoyle — who herself worked as a high-paid fundraising bundler for the Trump campaign — said the $60,000 payment was for several campaign-related events, but declined to elaborate further.

Quantitatively, the biggest beneficiary of the Trump brand, aside from Trump himself, is almost certainly Jared Kushner.

Once again, Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump left their four years in the White House after increasing their personal wealth by as much as $640 million, according to a CREW investigation. But that’s small potatoes compared to the deals Kushner has been chasing since leaving DC

A Trump adviser accused Kushner of making “billions” from Trump’s name and his time in the White House through his new private equity firm Affinity Partners, which is heavily backed by Saudi financiers.

But a source close to Kushner dismissed the “factually inaccurate” claim floating around among Trump confidants, telling The Daily Beast that Affinity Partners only received a “commitment,” meaning money that couldn’t be spent .

Other punching bags include former Trump whisperers like Roger Stone and Steve Bannon, whose relationships with the former president have ebbs and flows. Both men carried enough weight to secure a presidential pardon, but neither is currently considered part of Trump’s inner circle — a fact that hasn’t stopped them from boasting elsewhere.

Two Trump advisers called Stone “vindictive” and untrustworthy. One of them added that Stone was one of the many “sneakers” who are “asking for attention” from the former president.

(When reached by The Daily Beast, Stone’s comment was only a guess as to who the sources for this story were.)

And then there’s Banon. While the right-wing media manipulator isn’t as flamboyant as Stone, his maneuvering at a distance — especially after his 2017 White House ouster — hasn’t escaped Trump’s eye.

Bannon and Trump did not speak to each other for three years after his sacking, according to a source close to Trump. According to this source, the former president was “apoplectic” about Bannon’s role in the “We Build The Wall” scam — a scam that was behind Trump’s unfulfilled campaign promise and eventual federal charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and fraud.

Still, Trump pardoned Bannon in his final weeks in office for those very allegations, while the MAGA loyalist-turned-host of the WarRoom podcast made it his life’s work to prove the 2020 election was meant to be debased. (Bannon is now reportedly the focus of a New York State investigation into the plan.)

Still, Bannon hasn’t really returned to Trump’s good graces just yet.

“They don’t really talk,” said one of Trump’s senior advisers, and another current Trump aide seconded it.

Instead, Bannon and his former boss are absorbing each other’s material through “osmosis,” according to a Trumpworld source, and a string of positive Trump headlines generated by Bannon’s remarks (or pending court cases).

“These false claims are ridiculous and those peddling these falsehoods are not pro-President Trump or President Trump,” a Bannon spokesman told The Daily Beast. “They are crooks trying to sow discord so they can line their own pockets. You will be flushed out.”

A Trump spokesman did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on the story.

But as the MAGA soap opera drags on, Trump is preoccupied with more existential threats — potential 2024 Republican rivals circling him and ever more ominous investigations approaching.

“Right now, I think his main concern is bad advice,” said a Trump aide. “That’s why he’s strengthening his legal team.”

However, with Trump obsessing over loyalty more than ever, the allegations of cheating have taken on new weight. And these advisers, who want to further ingratiate themselves with Trump, see a new opportunity amidst the chaos.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-hates-when-anyone-except-him-grifts-off-the-trump-name?source=articles&via=rss Donald Trump hates it when anyone but himself takes the Trump name in vain

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