The Slatest

Trump Turns State of the Union Address Into Campaign Fundraising Opportunity

Trump at the State of the Union address.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

For those who so desired, there was an opportunity to pay to see your name pop up on a livestream of the president’s address on Tuesday. In other words, President Trump turned the State of the Union into a fundraising opportunity for his campaign.

CNN reported Tuesday morning that supporters would need to pay only $1 for the right to clutter their screens with the names of other human beings. But a Slate writer found he’d been swindled out of that $1 when he tried to access the donor feed and couldn’t. “I just got taken for $1 by Donald Trump!!!” he wrote in a company Slack channel.


It turns out, you needed to donate $35, as per the original pitch from the Trump campaign. According to the campaign email, it would have been worth it: “Even if you choose to only give $1, the proof of your support will send shockwaves around the world as they see every American who proudly stands behind our president.” It even promised to print a list of supporters’ names to give to Trump after his speech.

[The President] “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient,” the drafters of the Constitution wrote.

Nothing quite as necessary and expedient as a quick buck.

Read more in Slate about the State of the Union.