Donald Trump has a new fundraising scheme. He’s raffling off lunch with his son Eric and a tour of the Trump campaign headquarters. While this is pretty standard political fundraising fare, it does show how ridiculous and disingenuous Trump’s latest attacks against Hillary Clinton actually are.
The latest “revelation” about Clinton is that as Secretary of State, she sometimes held meetings with donors to the Clinton Foundation. She also often ignored the requests for meetings, which is completely overlooked by the right-wing press.
Trump has taken the report and run with it, calling it “pay to play,” and noting that it’s illegal.
“A couple of very bad ones came out, and it’s called pay for play,” he said. “And some of these were really, really bad and illegal. If it’s true, it’s illegal. You’re paying and you’re getting things.”
“Paying and getting things,” isn’t illegal. That’s called capitalism. Paying government officials to get things that only government officials can give – that’s called pay to play and yes, that is illegal. There’s no evidence that Hillary Clinton did that, unless you count an occasional meeting as “getting things.” Ask absolutely anyone in Hollywood what a meeting means; hell, ask Donald Trump what a meeting means, and you’d find that with successful people, a meeting is as much a way of shutting people up as it is an exchange of ideas, let alone favors. Meetings never have and never will imply obligation.
Now, let’s talk about actual pay to play, the highly illegal type. Donald Trump has actually bragged about bribing politicians and judges. That’s unethical at best and illegal at worst.
“I was a businessman,” Trump smarmed at a debate earlier this year. He was being pressed about the piles of dough he has deposited in Democratic coffers through the years — for his pals the Clintons (including the Clinton Ca-ching Foundation), Schumer, Reid, Pelosi, Cuomo, Rahm, and the rest of the gang.
“I give to everybody. When they call, I give.”
“You know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them, and they are there for me. . . . And that’s a broken system.”
Source: National Review
Yes, that is a broken system – one Trump is happy to keep broken.
Oh, but it gets worse. Trump also allegedly bribes people, as he allegedly bribed people involved in the Trump University case.
The trouble started in June, when the Associated Press reported that Bondi “personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump” in 2013 — right around the time she was deciding whether or not to investigate alleged fraud at Trump University. Trump University, of course, is the controversial for-profit school owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
It was only four days after Bondi announced she might join an investigation into Trump University when a Trump family foundation gave $25,000 to a political group supporting Bondi’s re-election. After that money came in, Bondi said she would not pursue a lawsuit against Trump University. Two years later — one day before Florida’s crucial primary election — Bondi endorsed Trump for president.
Source: Think Progress
That, if it happens as alleged, is pay to play. Holding meetings with donors is not, whether the meeting is with Secretary Clinton or Eric Trump.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images.