It’s been quite a lackluster few months for Donald Trump.
Many of the candidates he endorsed in the midterm elections went down to defeat, leaving many in his own party blaming him for the lackluster midterm election results.
Then, Trump announced that he is running for president again, in a speech that was widely derided as boring, and he drew major fire for having dinner with Kanye West and white nationalist gadfly Nick Fuentes.
Trump has been called finished many times before and proved doubters wrong, but there have been numerous indications, in the latter part of 2022, that the Trump epoch in American politics might actually be drawing to a close.
Trump: What Is He Doing?
The latest indication? Trump’s “Major Announcement” on Thursday.
On his Truth Social page, Trump had hinted Wednesday that he would be making a “Major Announcement’ on Thursday morning, illustrated with a picture of Trump in a superhero costume, outside of Trump Tower, with lasers shooting out of his eyes.
This led to lots of speculation about what it could be: A major endorsement of his candidacy? Trump making his return to Twitter? Trump throwing his hat in the ring to become Speaker of the House?
It turns out, it’s nothing as consequential as any of those things.
No, the “major announcement,” it turns out, is of Trump’s first major NFT collection, available at CollectTrumpCards.com. Trump is selling a series of “digital trading cards,” at $99 a pop.
The website, featuring a video message from Donald Trump, takes the opportunity to explain what NFTs are.
“For the first time ever, collect your own rare digital collectible Trading Card by President Trump,” the site says. “These are just like baseball cards, but you collect them digitally, on your computer or phone. All you need is an email address and a credit card to start collecting 1, 10, 20 or 100. Instantly become part of a new league of collectors.”
Those purchasing the cards can also gain eligibility to win prizes, such as a round of golf at one of Trump’s properties, or even dinner with the president (Nick Fuentes, presumably, is not eligible.) The cards are pitched as a holiday gift idea as well.
Those who buy 45 of the cards, per the website, are “GUARANTEED a TICKET to a dinner with the President.”
At any rate, it’s a curious announcement. It’s clearly in the long tradition, from Trump Steaks to Trump Air, of Trump putting his name on things and selling them, so in a sense, the former president is getting back to his huckster roots.
But the launch arrives, it appears, at the tail end of the NFT craze, with crypto prices in free fall and Republicans at the same time trying to make political hay out of the fall of indicted former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, a major Democratic donor.
The cards, meanwhile, are illustrated with Donald Trump in various costumes, including as a cowboy, an astronaut, a NASCAR driver, and in a boxing ring.
“If DJT had launched Trump NFTs or a TrumpCoin in February 2021, and cashed out after the initial coin offering like all the other predatory investors, he’d be a billionaire by now,” Twitter user Eric L. Robinson said. “Timing is everything,”
There is already a crypto coin called TrumpCoin, although it is backed by Donald Trump supporters and not supported by Trump himself. Those aren’t to be confused with “Let’s Go [Brandon]” tokens, which were also founded by Trump supporters. Trump was “gifted” 500 billion of the latter this spring.
At other times, Donald Trump has been critical of crypto, although he didn’t take many actions related to it, one way or the other, as president.
“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” the former president tweeted in 2019. “Unregulated crypto assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.