Some Trump supporters are reportedly furious that Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle was apparently paid $60,000 for a speech that lasted barely three minutes during the rally that preceded the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
On Tuesday, January 6 committee member Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, told CNN that “people were conned by the former president. They were conned into believing that the election had been stolen and that they should go to the Capitol, as the president asked them to”.
“They were conned out – I think the average donation from those false email requests, something like $17. These were people that weren’t rich people,” she added. “They were conned by the president. It was a big lie and it was also a big rip-off.”
“We know that Guilfoyle was paid for the introduction she gave at the speech on January 6th. She received compensation for that,” Ms Lofgren said. “I’m not saying it’s a crime, but I think it’s a grift.”
Ms Lofgren said Ms Guilfoyle received “$60,000 for two and a half minutes” in funds collected from donations from Trump supporters who believed the money would be used to challenge President Joe Biden’s election victory in the courts.
“You had money going to [Trump Chief of Staff] Mark Meadows’ foundation and to another foundation that hired the Trump supporters who lost their jobs,” Ms Lofgren said. “So it wasn’t what he said to his donors, this is to defend the election. It was an entirely different purpose. I think that was deceptive and not right.”
“People in Trumpworld are sharing that clip. They are aghast that this is the amount of money she got for a speech to introduce her boyfriend,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN on Tuesday.
Haberman said that one former Trump adviser said that “these were folks who were raising money in small amounts from retirees, telling them that this was going to some legal fight that didn’t really happen and instead Kimberly Guilfoyle was getting paid”.
Haberman said that this is how the Trump “ecosystem” works.
“There is some level of this that often goes on around Trump and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone,” she said.
“Donald Trump’s Save America PAC raised nine figures last year,” Philip Bump of The Washington Post noted. “It raised tens of millions of dollars well after there was any case to be made for a legal fight against the election results.”
“The last legal fight ended at the end of 2020, but he is still raising tens of millions of dollars from folks,” he added. “So it seems as though a lot of this money is … expressing support for Donald Trump, which is something, I looked, yesterday, he sent out 1,700 emails, right. This is something that has been ongoing for a long period of time. It’s totally detached from the election results itself.”