Recently, Trump spent part of his weekend in New Orleans where he attended a Republican National Committee event. Ahead of his trip down south, the former president apparently ran a promotional prize campaign, in which he promised his small-scale donors a chance at winning an all-expenses-paid dinner with him; all they had to do to enter for a chance to win was fork over a political donation.
William Vaillancourt with Rolling Stone reports:
Former President Donald Trump in recent weeks asked his supporters for money as part of a promotion to eat dinner with him in New Orleans last Saturday. The only problem was that no one actually got to eat dinner with Trump, The Washington Post reported Friday, citing four people familiar with the matter. A series of email pitches to small-dollar donors offered up what any loyal Trump supporter would undoubtedly appreciate. ‘We’ll cover your flight. We’ll cover your very nice hotel. We’ll cover your dinner,’ one email read. ‘All you have to do is enter.’
It’s unclear how much money the pitches raised for Save America PAC, the former president’s political action committee, or how many people donated. But similar contests brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars, people involved with them told the Post.”
Trump spokesman Tyler Budowich responded to the backlash regarding the prize scam and stated, “President Trump has awarded more than 100 prizes to contest winners across America, but due to an administrative error in this individual circumstance, the contest winner was not properly notified for last weekend’s event in New Orleans.” He went on to explain that a “substitute prize” will ultimately be sent to the contest winner in lieu of the dinner with Trump they were entitled to.
It’s certainly worth noting here that this is far from the first time the one-term, twice-impeached former president has been caught in a massive scandal or scam when it comes to his fundraising efforts. Last year, the Trump campaign was reportedly forced to refund literal millions back to their donors, after it was discovered that the campaign had been tricking his supporters into massive, monthly recurring payments to his campaign by deceptively pre-checking the options on the donation website.
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You can read the full report from Rolling Stone here.