The very short version is that a fund-raising website for the Trump campaign had a hidden button which didn't allow people donating to see that they were agreeing to recurring monthly donations, not a one-time only donation. And so where were stories about older donors in their 70s and 80s who got fleeced for thousands. One 78-year-old thought he was donating $990 and later discovered he had actually given Trump around $9,000. "I can't afford that," he commented. Gee, no kidding. Some of the recurring charges weren't even monthly -- one Trump donor who was in hospice care gave the Trump campaign $500, only to learn that he'd been charged that same $500 every week for over a month. In fact, sometimes the "give monthly" button would later automatically change to "give weekly" all on its own. No user involvement required!
Apparently, it turns out that when Trump said he was going to "drain the swamp," this was the swamp he said he would be draining.
Once upon a time, people fondly looked at the grace and noble ideals of the Kennedy Administration and called it Camelot. How far we've fallen to Scamalot.
I feel bad for all the people who were scammed, whatever the amount, especially those who were scammed by Trump by the many thousands of dollars. At the same time, Trump scamming people wasn't a surreptitious, crafty plan hard to detect. He made 30,573 lies over four years that were regularly documented publicly by the Washington Post. He suggested that people drink bleach to kill the coronavirus. He said that COVID-19 would go away like "a miracle" when it was initially discovered, and over 500,000 Americans died under his watch. He became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. He's had six bankruptcies.
Maya Angelou famously said that when people tell you who they are the first time, believe them. Trump took out billboards and shined klieg lights on them every day for four years -- and you can go back 40 years, for that matter, including when he took out a full-page ad in the New York Times saying the Central Park 5 (who were later exonerated) should get the death penalty and when his Trump Organization was fined by the U.S. government for racially discriminatory rental practices -- shouting out loud to anyone who'd listen who he was.
Though for all that, this latest scam by Trump was pretty low-life.
For the record, the Biden campaign had to return $20 million in donations to people who either made mistakes when donating or had second thoughts on the amount or had computer errors. The Trump campaign had to return $120 million.
It's not only scummy, it also could be fraud and illegal. But even if it skirts under a legal standard -- if -- it's still really, incredibly scummy. And from the outraged reaction from Trump supporters who had been scammed out of many tens of millions of dollars, it may be that they're okay with their beloved Trump shooting someone on Fifth Avenue, they're not that pleased with being scammed out of their own money.
Okay, so, you know how I have regularly written for the past 2-3 years that "This is not about Trump, we know who he is, this is about the elected members of the Republican Party who enabled him and are complicit"? Well, this one is about Trump.
Of course, those elected members of the Republican Party did enable him for four years and let him get away with everything, including two impeachments, so they pretty much told him that even this is okay as far as they were concerned.
As the swamp got drained.
And no, it's not surprising that that's how Trump looked at the suckers who supported him.
But, hey, as P.T. Barnum noted, a sucker is born every minute. Sometimes regularly recurring monthly.