If one were to compile a list of the people having the most influence over Donald Trump’s decision making, a few names come to mind. There is Steve Bannon, hero of the alt-right and Trump’s close counselor, who will soon have a prominent position of power in the White House. There is Roger Ailes, the disgraced former Fox News chairman and strategist to Trump, who was forced out of Fox News after he was accused by a number of women of sexual misconduct. There is Vladmir Putin…we kid, we kid.
But chief among Trump’s close confidants is his daughter, Ivanka. In a disturbing revelation, the New York Times is reporting that Eric Trump, Donald’s son and Ivanka’s brother, is auctioning off a coffee date with his sister to the highest bidder, in the name of charity. As of press time, the going price is over $60,000.
While the money raised will purportedly go to charity, selling access to Trump’s inner circle raises serious ethical issues. Says Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit advocating against the influence of special interests: “This is just wrong. The president’s family should not be out raising money for whatever cause, in exchange for a potential influence buyer who wants to get his views to the president.”
The New York Times reports on a number of bidders interested in buying Ivanka’s ear, from a restauranteur seeking influence on immigration issues to a foreign investment banker seeking information on overseas markets.
Draining the swamp, one $60,000 cup of coffee at a time.