On New Year’s Eve, President Donald Trump held an extravagant party at his Mar-a-Lago resort, which not only became the subject of social media satire when bizarre pictures emerged from the party, but created concern about Trump’s misuse of public office to generate profits when this year’s ticket prices increased from the previous year. Only 10 days after the party, it seems as if the president is overreaching his status yet again.
A new sweepstakes from the Trump campaign provides one entrant with an opportunity to have a private dinner with the president and members of his family. According to the entry forms, those who wish to enter the sweepstakes will have to provide a small donation to the Trump campaign, in order to have a chance at the prize.
According to Politico, “The Trump 2020 campaign offer blasted out Wednesday via text message said ‘two great Americans’ who give as little as $3 will be entered in the contest for the Jan. 20 meal – ‘Flight and Hotel included’ – in Palm, Beach Florida.” However, interestingly enough, whereas the message states that a donation is needed to enter, the fine print of the sweepstakes itself claims no purchase is necessary to enter.
Another point of confusion for entrants can be the misunderstanding that two individuals will be chosen for the dinner, due to the way the initial message was phrased. The fine print, on the other hand, claims that there will only be one winner selected, allowing the chosen person to bring a guest with them. It is uncertain as to why the Trump campaign decided to put these aspects in the fine print rather than portraying explicitly, but provides insight into a potential tactic to increase the volume of donations received from the dinner.
— hypervocal (@hypervocal) January 11, 2018
Neither the email, text message, nor entry form specify where the dinner will specifically take place, Trump campaign executive director Michael Glassner, confirmed that the event will be at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. The resort is also holding a sold-out event separate from the dinner just two days before on January 18th, and will feature a keynote speech given by Jeanine Pirro of Fox News.
This is interesting. The Trump campaign is offering donors an opportunity to win a dinner “in beautiful Palm Beach, Florida… at Florida’s most exclusive club.” pic.twitter.com/dFCKxyh8GP
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 8, 2018
The winner will dine with not only the president, but also with three members of the Trump family, consisting of his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., as well as Eric Trump’s wife, Lara.
The sweepstakes is being promoted as a celebratory first anniversary dinner of Trump’s inauguration, given that the date of the event coincides with the day he was sworn into office, January 2oth, 2017.
Although Donald Trump still has three years remaining until its time for re-election, the sweepstakes coming so shortly after the New Years Eve party may not only be a way to raise donations to the campaign, but to better the damaged public image of the president among his own supporters. With a string of recent controversies, as well as the ongoing Russia probe, the Trump administration and family seem to be in full deflect mode, attempting to reduce the level of pressure and backlash that is currently brewing.
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