During general election season, Donald Trump regularly took shots at the Clinton Foundation for alleged “pay for play” tactics. At the same time, he was also in the midst of his own scandal involving a donation to Florida Attorney Pam Bondi and her dropped lawsuit against Trump University. That mess has faded into the background, but the “pay for play” concept has returned in the form of inauguration weekend access to the president-elect.
The Center for Public Integrity has dug into a new Texas nonprofit, which is registered under four directors, including Eric and Donald Jr. The org’s documentation matches up with a pamphlet that was recently published by TMZ and offers “opening day” packages for hunting and other outdoor activities with Donald. So, anyone can toss in anywhere from $25,000 to $1,000,000 for a range of private meetings to “rub elbows” with Trump on inauguration weekend.
Supposedly, every penny gathered from this Opening Day Foundation will go towards conservation charities that aren’t specified, and the Center for Public Integrity says that the foundation was created about a week ago by the Trump sons and a few Dallas businessmen:
Walter Kinzie, chief executive officer of Texas event management company Encore Live, confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity that a nonprofit group called the Opening Day Foundation hired his firm to manage Opening Day 2017.
A Center for Public Integrity review of Texas incorporation records found the Opening Day Foundation was created less than a week ago, on Dec. 14. Unlike political committees, such nonprofits aren’t required by law to reveal their donors, allowing sponsors to write seven-figure checks for access to the president while staying anonymous, if they choose.
All of this sounds rather fishy and resembles the recent Coffee With Ivanka auction that was cancelled after someone realized that selling “access” to Ivanka could create a policy conflict. And again, there are the ethical considerations that are similar to criticisms of the Clinton Foundation that were voiced by Trump himself. The selling of Donald’s time by his sons is a new endeavor, according to the Opening Day Foundation’s registration date, but it may not last long.