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Trump Under Fire For Turning Texas Tragedy Into A Fundraising Opportunity To Promote His Hats


Trump Under Fire For Turning Texas Tragedy Into A Fundraising Opportunity To Promote His Hats

President Donald Trump has come under fire for using a national tragedy to showcase his campaign merchandise.

For the third time in four days, the president was seen wearing his $40 Trump-branded hats available for purchase on his reelection campaign website at two separate Hurricane Harvey relief meetings.

Trump was also photographed wearing one of his hats a third time Tuesday afternoon when he arrived in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane on Friday, has triggered one of the worst floods in U.S. history, causing catastrophic flooding in the coastal Texas cities of Houston and Beaumont. The storm has also claimed at least 30 lives so far, according to The New York Times.

Former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub Jr. Shaub, who resigned in July after butting heads with the administration over Trump’s failure to completely divest from his business empire, condemned the president’s self-promotion on Twitter.

Government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) tweeted: “As @realDonaldTrump leaves for Texas, he makes sure he’s carrying the hats he’s been advertising–yours for just $40 on his campaign website.”

“There’s a difference between what is technically legal and what is ethically right. While there may not be a technical violation here, it is wholly inappropriate for the White House to distribute photo press releases of the president posing in campaign merchandise,” said CREW Communications Director Jordan Libowitz. “This is neither the time, nor the place.”

ThinkProgress notes:

As of Tuesday afternoon, the president has yet to tweet out any condolences to the victim of Harvey provide them with advice about how to access basic services and shelter. Trump’s reelection campaign, however, sent out emails to his supporters on Monday asking that they donate money to “CRUSH” their August goal and make this month their most profitable.

The fundraising email contains no mention of Hurricane Harvey whatsoever.

President Trump was also seen wearing his hat when he praised the size of a Texas crowd while addressing a group of hard-hit Hurricane Harvey victims on Tuesday afternoon.

“Thank you everybody. I just want to say. We love you. You are special. We are here to take care, and it’s going well. And I want to thank you for coming out. We will get you back and operating immediately. Thank you everybody. What a crowd, what a turnout,” Trump said while standing on a fire truck before waving the Texas flag.


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