Melania Trump returns to center stage
“I am proud to announce my new NFT business, which embodies my passion for the arts, and will support my continued commitment to children through my Be Best initiative,” Trump said in a statement released via his social media platforms and on its website. Trump has since posted about the company on his Twitter account 17 times.
Its NFT, titled “Melania’s Vision”, and designed by French artist Marc-Antoine Coulon, is available until December 31 via the Solana cryptocurrency, priced at around $ 175 – depending on the market – and has a identity authenticated via the blockchain. . Sales could be incredibly lucrative for Trump, one of the many celebrities – including Paris Hilton, Shawn Mendes, Tom Brady, Kate Moss and Grimes – who have recently plunged into the NFT market and have emerged in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. , richer dollars. Fans are often drawn to the opportunity to own a unique digital memento or original work of art.
Trump’s NFT also comes with an audio clip of her saying, “My vision is this: Look to the future with inspiration, strength and courage.”
“Through this new technology-based initiative, we will provide children with computer skills, including programming and software development, to thrive once they leave the family community of. welcome, ”Trump added in Thursday’s statement, noting that every dollar of profit is not intended solely for her, while neglecting to specify how, when and to what extent the charitable component will be part of the process.
Coulon, the artist, may have been told about details the public did not have, writing on his Instagram page: “The project has been clearly defined and its goals and the charities involved are very much in sync. with the spirit in which the project was motivated. ” A Coulon spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
Trump’s statement said “a portion of the proceeds” will go to children aging outside the foster care system, but no details on the nature of that portion have been provided. Several attempts by CNN to reach Trump’s spokesperson for clarification on these elements of the NFT have gone unanswered.
“I’m confused by this. It’s very hit and miss as a project and seems dull to post artwork online of yourself for $ 150,” said a former White House official who has worked with Melania Trump on several of her East Wing initiatives, and one of several acquaintances or former Trump staff who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity to maintain personal connections. “The timing also seems strange – Covid and natural disasters are having an impact on the country, and many people are struggling financially. “
Trump, who adopts a wealthy lifestyle, has not publicly or privately indicated to those who spoke to CNN that she has financial need. “With Melania’s personal wealth, I certainly hope that the ‘part of the profit’ going to help the children is important,” said another person who has worked with her for several years.
Since last spring, she has tweeted sporadically, mostly images and recollections from her time as First Lady; in September, she tweeted only twice, and nothing in October.
However, in November, following his first public remarks at an event hosted by Republicans at Log Cabin – held downstairs from his private quarters in Mar-a-Lago in the club’s ballroom – Trump appeared get a fresh yen for the projectors.
“It was like all of a sudden she remembered how she loved it when people noticed her,” said another Trump acquaintance.
At the event, Trump received the group’s Spirit of Lincoln Award and made brief acceptance remarks at a black-tie dinner attended by guests and her husband, former President Donald Trump.
Since then, the former first lady has stepped up her social media output, regularly tweeting on both national (a tribute to the Pearl Harbor anniversary) and local (sending prayers to those in Kentucky after the tornadoes) topics. murderous). She tweeted photos of a Thanksgiving visit to a Florida children’s center, and this month, photos of herself, dressed in nautical stripes, on a Coast Guard ship wishing a special message. vacation to the military.
Then came the NFT’s announcement, and a barrage of retweets of subsequent news articles about his new lucrative business.
“Why now?” Knowledge asks, which suggests the attention grabbing may be tied to Trump’s desire to reestablish his mark. “To a degree, she thinks she’s an influencer. It’s one way to stay relevant. If you think her fans like President Trump, they love Melania. There’s nothing she can do. or say they won’t support. “
Other NFTs are coming
A second NFT coin will likely be offered next month, a preview of which is slated for Jan.4, with a live date Jan.11, according to reports on Trump’s website MelaniaTrump.com. The website describes that part of the impetus for the release of the first NFT was its “personal journey” from Slovenia to the White House.
“The beauty and hardships of individuals, majestic landscapes and profound architecture entered into his lens and remain in his heart,” the description states.
It’s unclear who is advising Trump on his decision to enter the NFT market, but the former White House official suggests that’s the way Trump is “trying to look busy,” something that the former first lady has not particularly described to the public since leaving the White House.
“It’s not exactly using its platform for a bigger global or national impact,” said this person. “It’s ostensibly a quick money generator. It’s a classic Trump move, using their brand and supporters to cash in.”
Typically, most modern first ladies create foundations or organizations – usually nonprofits – that advance initiatives they started during their tenure in the White House.
For Laura Bush, this came in part in the form of continuing her work of helping Afghan women, as well as supporting American libraries and educational reading programs. Michelle Obama has several official efforts that push her work for girls and education, college attendance, and voting rights.
Trump has said she is pursuing her Be Best cause, but there has been no official release of dedicated events or goals.
Donald Trump’s crypto rocker
As first lady, Trump prided himself on not always aligning his East Wing message with that of the West Wing, which could at times publicly pit his views against those of the President. Her former spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, has told CNN on several occasions that the former first lady did what she chose to do when she chose to do and acted “independently” of her husband.
Trump’s dive into the NFT world emerges as yet another example of his inattention to the former president’s public comments, going against his recent stances on cryptocurrency, which he has publicly criticized. in two separate interviews with Fox Business.
Cryptocurrency, Donald Trump said in June, is a “dollar scam,” and he questioned the veracity of the uptrend.
“The currency of this world should be the dollar,” Trump said, adding, “I think they should regulate them very, very high.”
In August, he doubled down on that dislike, saying cryptocurrencies are “potentially a disaster waiting to happen” and that he “hasn’t been a huge fan”.
However, his wife’s new website, which people can click to access a cyber-purchase of his watercolor eyeballs, includes an entire page devoted to explaining the complex world of NFTs, blockchain and cryptocurrency. It even includes a link to a suggested “digital wallet” platform from which customers can use Solana cryptocurrency to purchase the limited NFT version of Trump.
A day after “Melania’s Vision” was revealed, Donald Trump seemed to have new clarity on crypto.
“Congratulations to my wife, Melania,” he said in a statement released from his office. “The launch of Melania’s new NFT business embodies our American spirit of ingenuity, creativity and entrepreneurship. By leveraging blockchain technology, MelaniaTrump.com will provide Melania fans, art connoisseurs and the general public the opportunity to collect rare and limited edition pieces while benefiting the children of the foster family community. “
CNN asked Trump’s spokeswoman if the statement meant Trump had changed his mind about seeing cryptocurrency as a “scam” now that his wife is involved in NFTs, but hasn’t received response.