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- Former President Donald Trump teased a major announcement on Wednesday on Truth Social.
- On Thursday, he revealed it to be the sale of NFT digital trading cards with his image emblazoned on each one.
- The NFTs aren’t owned, managed, or controlled by Trump or the Trump Organization. It’s unclear what cut Trump will get from the NFTs, if any.
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday teased a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” on Truth Social, saying, “America needs a superhero.”
The post was coupled with a photograph of Trump with chiseled abs, adorning a superhero costume. After declaring in November his intention to run for president again in 2024, it was unclear what more Trump would announce.
And on Thursday, the former president made the big reveal: a series of digital trading card NFTs, each selling for $99.
“This is Donald Trump, hopefully, your favorite president of all time. Better than Lincoln or Washington,” Trump said in an infomercial-styled address, before detailing the project.
—Makena Kelly (@kellymakena) December 15, 2022
According to the project’s website, 45,000 cards will be created in the series, with 44,000 up for sale online. It’s unclear what will happen with the other 10,000 cards. The NFTs also enter its purchaser into a series of sweepstakes where they’ll have the chance to dine with Trump, play golf with him, and join a Mar-A-Lago group cocktail hour.
The trading cards are licensed and owned by NFT INT LLC, not by Trump or the Trump Organization, and use his name, image, and likeness under a paid license, the footnotes of the NFT’s website say. If the NFTs sell out, the creators will make about $4.5 million — it’s unclear what Trump’s cut of the sales will be, if any.
Trump’s latest venture is a continuation of two major themes for his business interests.
One is that he will continue to hawk merchandise and be involved with his namesake company even as an active political candidate. Ethics experts have long raised questions about what it meant for a sitting president to be able to profit while in office. The most glaring example of this was the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where foreign governments spent lavishly.
The second is that Trump continues to license his name to outside ventures. Amid renewed success following his reality TV hit “The Apprentice,” Trump licensed his name to be slapped on buildings around the world — even when some of the local partners were considered unscrupulous. Beyond buildings, Trump also emblazoned his name on steaks, vodka, and water.
Thursday’s announcement comes on the heels of recent controversies. Trump was widely criticized for dining with Nick Fuentes, an avowed white nationalist, and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who had made a series of antisemitic comments. Senior Republicans also chastised the former president for suggesting that parts of the Constitution be terminated due to election fraud, his claims of which have been widely debunked.