The White House released two photos of Donald Trump wearing Trump brand hats as part of the response to Hurricane Harvey. The hats are for sale in Trump's online store, and the proceeds from their sale will go to his re-election campaign.
Donald Trump is using the coverage of the response to Hurricane Harvey to promote a line of hats he is selling in his online store.
The White House press office sent two emails over the weekend, with the subject line: “Photos from President Donald J. Trump’s Video Teleconference with Cabinet Officials on Hurricane Harvey.”
But the emails are really campaign ads.
In the photos, Trump is wearing a “USA” baseball cap, one white and the other red. It is the first time that the Trump White House press office has released photos of Trump in this way.
Both of the hats, which are different from the usual “Make America Great Again” hats that Trump has more frequently worn, are currently for sale in the online store of his official campaign website for $40 each. The descriptions note, “The only place online to purchase the Official USA rope hat worn by 45th President-Elect Donald J. Trump, himself.”
Funds from hat sales go to Trump Make America Great Again Committee, the vehicle being used by Trump and the Republican Party to finance his re-election campaign.
The mindset behind pushing hats while people’s lives are in endanger just falls into the same pattern of behavior Trump has engaged in since obtaining the presidency.
He has visited Trump properties in New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Florida, utilizing his taxpayer-financed travel to earn millions in free advertising for his resorts, which he continues to profit from.
It hasn’t always worked, however. Charities have pulled out of hosting events at Trump properties, reacting to his comments praising white supremacists and costing him millions of dollars in lost revenue.
But the hat photos, sent out to the hundreds of media outlets who cover his presidency, show that Trump is still thinking about how to bring in money for his own benefit, even while Americans are suffering.