- Trump is personally cashing in from political rally-style paid speeches, the Washington Post reports.
- Supporters pay anywhere from $55 for tickets to $4,000 for top-tier VIP packages on the tour.
- The events on the American Freedom Tour are separate from Trump's free political rallies.
President Donald Trump is personally cashing in from rally-style political events that his die-hard supporters pay to attend, the Washington Post reports.
On the American Freedom Tour, Trump's supporters pay anywhere from $55 for general admission "citizen" tickets to $4,000 "presidential tier" packages that include an after-party and meet-and-greet with Trump, the Post reported.
Proceeds from Trump's American Freedom Tour go directly to his own pockets. They are also separate from his political rallies, which are free to attend, often in support of specific candidates, and held through his Save America leadership PAC.
It's routine for former presidents to take to the paid speech circuit after leaving office, where they can profit handsomely and earn enviable fees from speaking to corporations and interest groups. But it's relatively unprecedented for ex-presidents to charge their supporters to see them speak at political rally-style events with similar material.
"Paid presidential speeches are nothing new. It's nice work if you can get it," presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove, who has written a book on post-presidencies, told the Post. "The difference here is Trump is doing this under the guise of a political rally. There might be a little deception there."
At one Trump event on his American Freedom Tour in Mississippi, Trump rehashed his false claims of fraud in the 2020 election, complaining about the House January 6 Committee, and teasing a 2024 presidential campaign, the Post reported.
"I really wanted to do my part in contributing to where he can keep doing what he's doing, traveling around," one attendee who paid $800 for VIP tickers in Mississippi told the Post. "I know he probably doesn't need financial help by any means, but just to do my part in supporting him because I believe in what he's doing."
Trump's tour came together when event organizer Brian Forte met Chris Widener, a Trump supporter and former motivational speaker.
"They're deplorable, they're racist, they're sexist, xenophobic, transphobic — they've been beaten up for five years," Widener told the Post, referring to Trump's supporters. "Wouldn't it be amazing if we did some rallies around the country, and got conservatives together, so that folks could look around and say, 'I'm not alone.'"
Tour events have featured guest speakers including Donald Trump Jr., ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and conservative media figures Candace Owens, Dan Bongino, and Dinesh D'Souza, in addition to motivational speakers giving financial advice and offering seminars and classes, the Post reported.
One local Republican activist in Arkansas who staffs the tour events as a volunteer told the Post that Trump inspired her to run for a local office. "I pray that we save us and that we can do this," she said. "That's what Trump has taught me."