Trump is all about capitalism, except for his enemies. Trump is all about monetization, except for his critics. Trump is all about politicizing things, except for when it works against him.
Case in point: trump is supposedly considering stripping former intelligence chiefs of their security clearances because they have been critical of his, you know, complete governing incompetence and obsequiousness towards murderous dictators. That's not the official reason for taking away their clearances, of course. The official line is spewed sideways by Sarah Sanders from the diminished podium of the Press Secretary: that Comey, Clapper, Brennan, McCabe, Rice, and Hayden have "politicized" and "monetized" their public service, and therefore do not deserve their clearances any longer.
As usual, Stephanie Ruhle has a pitch perfect response to this hypocrisy and lunacy. She takes our collective "WTAF?????" and turns it into a devastating, indisputable list of ways in which trump's grifting INTENSIFIED the moment he was ELECTED. I mean, doubling the membership fee at Mar-a-Lago? Selling a $6.5-million apartment to the government of Qatar? Using a 60-minute interview for your daughter to sell her jewelry?
Oh, speaking of Ivanka...news just broke that she is shuttering her fashion line...but not because it is the right thing to do. It's because she is no longer able to profit from it.
SANDERS: The president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they politicize, and in some cases monetize their public service and security clearances.
RUHLE: What? Let's focus on that one phrase from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. No, you're not getting punked here. Monetize their public service. She was criticizing how past U.S. intelligence chiefs monetized their former roles for financial gain.
For fact's sake, let's see how much the Trump family is bringing in during its current "public service." Let's start with Trump properties. Donald Trump retains a stake in all his companies, meaning just because he's not running things doesn't mean he's not profiting. President Trump has spent 174 days at a Trump-owned residence since taking office. Staying at his properties is not like George W. Bush staying at his Texas ranch. This one costs the taxpayers big, big bucks. Secret Service has to pay for room and board at Trump properties. The USA Today reports that the Secret Service has spent more than 137 grand in 2017 alone on, guess what? Golf carts. Golf carts protecting the President at his Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster properties. In fact, at his Scotland resort ahead of the Putin summit, taxpayers picked up the $77,000 tab. That's more money than many teachers make in some states.
And, back at Mar-a-Lago, the president's club doubled its membership fee to 200 grand after the president was elected, while his D.C. hotel raised its room rates by 60%. It's not just Trump hotels. The government of Qatar bought a 6.5-million-dollar apartment in Trump World Tower - a Trump property where Saudi Arabia, India, and Afghanistan already keep residences. And in Trump Tower here on Fifth Avenue, China's largest state-owned bank rents a $2-million-a-year space for its biggest office in the United States. On sale at the Shenandoah National Park's Visitor Center, Trump Wine, whose vineyard is nearby, in Charlottesville.
Jared Kushner and his wife, first daughter, Ivanka Trump, who both took positions in the White House brought in anywhere between $82 million and $222 million last year, according to their financial disclosures. Ivanka, she pulled in nearly $4 million alone from her stake in the Trump International Hotel in D.C. Much of Jared's money came from his family ownership of apartment complexes in New Jersey and Maryland.
And Ivanka's more than $5 million in profits from her clothing brand got a nice little boost from Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway telling Fox viewers from the White House Briefing Room, "Go buy Ivanka's stuff." A big monetization from the seat of public service. I need to remind you when the Trump family did an interview on "60 Minutes," that night, Ivanka's own employees from her brand sent out a PR e-mail telling us where we could get Ivanka's bracelet from her fine jewelry collection.
PLEASE, Sarah Sanders, gag me with a spoon on this.