President Donald Trump’s three eldest children were deeply involved in a scam promoted on “The Apprentice” reality TV show, according to a lawsuit filed by four former clients.
The group filed an amended complaint Thursday that expanded fraud claims against Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump related to the ACN Inc. marketing firm they endorsed, reported the Detroit News.
The president’s children appeared repeatedly with ACN co-founders on the NBC television show, as well as in social media and other promotional materials, according to the lawsuit that was originally filed in October.
The four plaintiffs, who say they paid tens of thousands of dollars for bogus marketing opportunities, seek to remain anonymous to avoid backlash from the president.
The Trump family received millions of dollars in secret payments from 2005 to at least 2015 to promote ACN to potential customers who hoped to get rich selling a “doomed” desktop video phone service.
“Trust me, it’s changing everything,” Trump said, according to one of the plaintiffs. “The absolute truth is that this technology will be present in every home within the next several years.”
The video phone, however, could connect calls only between other ACN customers and was quickly overtaken by Skype and the development of smart phones.
The lawsuit blames shows like “Celebrity Apprentice” for making Trump and the products he endorsed, including ACN, falsely appear to be more valuable.
Trump’s children exploited his TV celebrity to promote a company they knew was ripping off customers, the former investors say.
“Defendants concocted a further scheme to use the rehabilitated Trump brand, their national celebrity, and their platform, as well as their casual willingness to make false and misleading statements, to defraud consumers who were inspired by Trump’s apparent wealth and success,” the plaintiffs argued in the complaint.
“In the eyes of the victims, defendants and ACN legitimized each other through their cross-branding in these appearances,” the complaint adds.
The complaint singles out Ivanka Trump, who boasted in her book that the family’s investment partners “love the fanfare and the positive spillover” that comes from doing business with her celebrity businessman father.
The Trumps have asked U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield to dismiss the complaint, and their lawyers have claimed the president had nothing to do with any alleged fraud.
Although he served as a celebrity spokesman for the company for nearly a decade before launching his presidential bid, lawyers say Trump never owned or controlled the company.
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Mnuchin Says President Has Ordered More Tax Cuts to Stimulate Growth – Despite Trump Bragging Economy Is ‘Greatest’ in History
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has just revealed the White House is working on a second round of tax cuts to boost economic growth, despite President Trump telling the world the U.S. is experiencing historic economic growth.
Both Republicans made their remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.
“The president has asked us to start working on what we call ‘tax 2.0,’ and that will be additional tax cuts,” Mnuchin told CNBC. “They’ll be tax cuts for the middle class, and we’ll also be looking at other incentives to stimulate economic growth.”
Meanwhile, the President told several falsehoods about the economy.
“We have the greatest economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country,” Trump told Davos attendees.
That is a lie.
“Economists previously told Business Insider that the Trump economy has provided mixed results,” Business Insider, a right-leaning news site, reported, while debunking that claim and others Trump made this week at the economic conference.
“The president has asked us to start working on what we call ‘tax 2.0,’ and that will be additional tax cuts,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. https://t.co/q8eEomt51i pic.twitter.com/5pHKYfFcLZ
— CNBC (@CNBC) January 23, 2020
‘Privileged White Greed’: Internet Destroys Pence for Staying at Trump’s Ireland Hotel – 180 Miles Away From His Meeting
The White House is scrambling to defend Vice President Mike Pence‘s decision to stay at President Donald Trump‘s hotel in Ireland while meeting with that country’s leaders – 180 miles away. Pence will be using Air Force Two as a shuttle between the Trump International Golf Resort in Doonbeg and Dublin. American taxpayers will be footing the bill every step of the way for the VP, countless Secret Service agents, and presumably White House aides – with a large portion of the likely multi-million dollar trip landing in the president’s pockets.
One Georgetown professor posted a map showing where Pence will be staying and just how far that is from where his meeting will be:
While in Ireland, VP Pence is staying in Trump’s golf resort. Which is in Doonbeg (red pin).
His official duties are in Dublin, which is literally the opposite side of the country.
Apart from enriching the President, what is the purpose of running up taxpayer costs like this? pic.twitter.com/30QyxI5WXb
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) September 3, 2019
Outrage online has been so palpable Pence Chief of Staff Marc Short was forced to address the scandal.
After the president lauded the resort and stayed there earlier this year revenue increased. Short was asked by reporters if Trump directed his Vice President to stay at the Trump-owned property which is has been facing financial difficulties.
“I don’t think it was a request, like a command,” Short told reporters, as NBC News reported. “I think that it was a suggestion.”
“It’s like when we went through the trip, it’s like, well, he’s going to Doonbeg because that’s where the Pence family is from,” Short said before describing the president’s suggestion. “It’s like, ‘Well, you should stay at my place.'”
“It wasn’t like a, ‘You must,'” Short continued, fielding 17 questions about the Doonbeg decision from reporters. “It wasn’t like, ‘You have to.’ It’s a facility that could accommodate the team. Keep in mind, the Secret Service has protected that facility for him, too, so they sort of know the realities, they know the logistics around that facility.”
Pence’s wife, sister, and mother are also joining him, but The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reports Short says the Vice President is “personally paying all family expenses.”
President Trump has visited Trump properties almost 300 times since being sworn in in January 2017, with taxpayers footing the bill.
In August Trump repeatedly pushed for the annual G7 meeting to be held at his Miami golf resort next year. Hosting such an event would likely pour millions into the president’s pockets.
This CNN Legal Analyst offered his take:
In the mafia there’s a concept known as “kicking up” or “paying tribute” to the Boss – lining the Boss’s pockets to keep him happy. The Boss doesn’t have to explicitly ask; it’s understood.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) September 3, 2019
Here’s what some others are saying about Pence staying at Trump Doonbeg:
This is “tit for tat”. And it’s exactly what Michael Cohen testifies to during Congressional hearing.
DJT says things in a way that lets you know exactly what he expects.
In modern business world its otherwise known as “Harassment in the workplace”. Bullying!
— Al Wayward (@Wayward888) September 3, 2019
Fleecing the nation for privileged white greed
— MikeB (@MBoyus) September 3, 2019
“Not only is federal money spent at Doonbeg, it gives the business a high-profile advertorial platform to attract customers.” I hope you are adding this to emoluments violations in impeachment articles, @SpeakerPelosi . @TheDemocrats https://t.co/dFMUmG2o9o
— Cheryle Johnson (@CheryleJ0806) September 3, 2019
two questions for a congressional oversight committee
1) How much will the decision to commute by air between Trump property and Pence’s appointments in Dublin cost the taxpayer?
2) How much will the (troubled) Trump property in Ireland be paid by the taxpayer? https://t.co/S1s7CzOHWK
— David Frum (@davidfrum) September 3, 2019
Getting Pence & team to stay at the Trump property on Ireland’s west coast & commute daily to & from the meetings on Ireland’s east coast —all to line Trump’s pocket — isn’t just a waste of tax $. It violates the Article II Domestic Emoluments Clause. @RepJerryNadler @RepRaskin
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 3, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence is staying at Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg during his visit to Ireland, even though it means flying 140 miles to Dublin for his meetings.
Because this administration is about nothing if it’s not about making Trump money.https://t.co/8GsVlvzyK2
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) September 3, 2019
wait, the good news is that Pence entourage will be **paying Trump** to stay at his resort? https://t.co/QEcl2bxjTW
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) September 3, 2019
Doonbeg is almost 300km (nearly 200 miles) away from Dublin for those who don’t realize.
Instead of staying in a hotel in Dublin and not FLYING across the country in a helicopter, Pence will stay in Doonbeg, and get Trump paid for staying there..The Trump grift is real. pic.twitter.com/zSk70cMZID
— Zack (@kodkod87) September 2, 2019
What about the Secret Service and choppers and added travel? Taxpayers will cover those. Oh, and by "personally paying" Short means Pence, like William Barr, is PUTTING MONEY IN THE PRESIDENT AND HIS FAMILY'S POCKETS. Turns out there is royal tribute and all Republicans must pay. https://t.co/VcKG0wc1gr
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) September 3, 2019
#TuesdayThoughts #TuesdayMotivation #TuesdayMorning
Trump’s Doonbeg Resort needs $ so Trump is making Pence stay there. Pence’s meetings are a 3 hour drive so, at tax payer expense, he’s flying AF-2 for 20 minutes back and forth, costing millions. https://t.co/VmQy3muzjb
— Diane Toucan (@DianeToucan) September 3, 2019
— HeyitsLola (@LolaSweet) September 3, 2019
Image via Twitter
‘There’s Nothing I’m Giving Up’: Sean Spicer Works for Pro-Trump PAC and Will Not Curtail His Duties While on DWTS
Former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer will be a “star” on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars this season – much to the chagrin of many who expressed outrage this week – but what the announcement on “Good Morning America” didn’t mention is Spicer isn’t giving up his day job – not for a minute.
Spicer is the number three person at America First Action, a pro-Trump PAC headed by former Trump White House cabinet member Linda McMahon. He serves as the political action committee’s Senior Advisor and Spokesman. The organization claims America was “held hostage” by an Obama administration that “sold, piece by piece…our hopes, dreams and values.”
Spicer also runs his own political consulting firm called RigWil.
He will continue to perform his function as the face of both companies, and as he told The Hollywood Reporter he’s not giving up anything.
“There’s nothing I’m stopping or giving up,” Spicer said, noting that ABC is “well aware of my job and what my companies do.”
THR notes Spicer “says he’s not restricted from political activity during his time on Dancing With the Stars.”
Spicer says, “I hope it will be a politics-free zone.”
The new season starts in mid-September, which puts Spicer in the unique position of being able to fundraise and advocate in support of re-electing Trump while his mere presence on TV – he is remembered as the face of the Trump administration – will effectively be a free “plug” for the Trump campaign.
In related and similar news, Fox News today hired former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as a political contributor.
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