Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Trump’s deals to sell Bibles, sneakers and perfume are unprecedented for a presidential candidate, experts say

By 37ci3 Mar29,2024


Sports shoes. Perfume. Trading cards. The Bibles.

These are just a few of the products Donald Trump He hawks the president as he runs to impeach him Joe Biden.

They join an extensive catalog of Trump-branded merchandise that the businessman-turned-president has licensed over the years, from steaks to scented candles.

But according to his campaign coffers to decrease and he is lucky under threatTrump – never quite cut off from his financial career to his political career—he is now actively linking business ventures with his bid for the White House.

Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig told CNBC in an interview with CNBC that “there is no precedent for this level of business activity” during the presidential campaign, though “the trend has been building for years.”

Brendan Fisher, deputy executive director of Documented, which monitors money in politics, agreed.

Donald Trump presented his new signature shoes
Donald Trump presented his new brand of shoes on February 17, 2024 in Philadelphia.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file

“I can’t think of another modern example of a presidential candidate selling a series of commodities for personal gain,” Fischer said.

For the average candidate, that activity might lead to a campaign finance investigation — but it probably won’t for Trump, who sold branded merchandise long before entering politics, according to Fisher.

“Trump is a unique case,” he said.

That uniqueness was on full display when Trump unveiled his latest promotion on Tuesday: a $60 Bible It includes copies of the country’s founding documents and the lyrics to country star Lee Greenwood’s hit song, “God Bless the USA.”

Greenwood’s song, which has collaborated with Trump to endorse the high-priced scripture, is regularly played at the Republican candidate’s campaign rallies.

In a video announcing the campaign, Trump made his campaign connections even clearer, warning that Americans’ rights were under threat and saying “we’re going to change that.” He also repeated his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

It’s unclear how much money Trump makes from the Bible — he receives royalties from its sales, a person familiar with the arrangement said. The New York Times – but whatever he gets, he will effectively pocket.

The Bibles website says it is not affiliated with the Trump campaign. Instead, it uses Trump’s name, likeness and image under a paid license from the named company CIC Ventures LLC.

Trump’s fiscal year 2023 disclosure names him as the “Manager, President, Secretary and Treasurer” of CIC Ventures and lists his revocable trust as the sole owner of the company. The disclosure shows that Trump earned more than $5 million from speaking engagements through the company. Florida business records show CIC’s address is the same as Trump’s golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Lessig noted that Trump’s business actions do not appear to be in violation of pre-election ethics and financial regulations.

“I don’t think there’s any ethical problem with that — as long as proper reporting requirements are followed,” the professor said.

“There may be a strategic or branding issue with it, but it’s the same as any political speech,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Trump’s biblical endorsement came during Holy Week, the eve of Easter and a holy time for Christians. It came less than six weeks after Trump’s departure sneaker convention in Philadelphia to launch his line of tennis shoes.



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By 37ci3

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