In a startling financial disclosure, it has been revealed that former President Donald Trump received a staggering $5.75 million in royalties over the past 18 months for a coffee-table book titled “Our Journey Together.” This book featured photos from his presidency, many of which were subsidized by taxpayers, and was published through a private family company. However, what raises eyebrows is the alleged use of donor funds to boost sales, sparking concerns about the ethical implications of such a move. ( 📺 Double Standard Unmasked: Senator Scott Highlights Double Standard in Biden and Trump Cases )
The book, originally known as “A MAGA Journey,” showcased photos taken by Trump’s official White House photographer, which were already in the public domain and accessible to anyone. The former president then added his own captions to the images, repackaging taxpayer-funded material as a commercially successful book. (45books.com) A spokesperson for the publisher, a company co-founded by Donald Trump Jr. and a former campaign staffer named Sergio Gor, claimed that “Our Journey Together” sold over 500,000 copies. (documentcloud.org) However, Forbes was unable to independently verify this claim, as the representative refused to provide any documentation.
The sales figures, as tracked by NPD BookScan, a reputable industry data service, only accounted for 10,200 sales at retailers through January 2023. It’s suspected that a significant number of sales might have occurred directly from the book’s website, which NPD BookScan doesn’t monitor. The book was initially priced at $75, with signed copies going for as much as $230.
Notably, Trump’s political operation seemed to play a role in boosting sales. His joint fundraising committee and political action committee reportedly paid Winning Team Publishing, the company that released the book, a substantial sum of $231,000 in 2022. However, spokespersons for these committees did not respond to recent inquiries. ( 📈 What Trump’s Set Trial Date Means for the 2024 Election and His Presidential Ambition ) (forbes.com) In December 2022, they did confirm that at least $48,000 of the joint-fundraising committee’s disbursements were allocated to “Our Journey Together.” Even now, the committee continues to offer copies of the book in exchange for donations of $75 or more. (secure.winred.com)
The massive $5.75 million payout from “Our Journey Together” far exceeded any other royalty payments reported by Trump over the same period. (forbes.com) His 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal,” earned him somewhere between $100,000 and $1 million. (45books.com) Other books brought in significantly lower amounts, ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, $2,500 to $5,000, and even less than $200 for ten others.
The payments for “Our Journey Together” were attributed to a company called Gold Standard Publishing LLC, but a spokesperson for Winning Team Publishing clarified that the payments were made by them. (fec.gov) The revelation of this lucrative arrangement raises questions about Trump’s use of taxpayer-funded material for personal financial gain. (documentcloud.org)
Adding to the controversy, Winning Team Publishing also paid $250,000 in licensing fees to Trump’s wife, Melania, for promoting “Our Journey Together.” This additional payment further fuels discussions about the ethics and propriety of using public office and taxpayer-funded resources for private gains. ( 📺 Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Ends Legal Battle Over Unpaid Dues With Trump Organization Through Settlement )
Furthermore, the publisher released a follow-up book titled “Letters to Trump” in April, with a hefty price tag of $100 and autographed copies priced at $400. The book claims to feature correspondence to Trump from the past 40 years, along with his commentary, and includes unwitting contributors such as Kim Jong Un, Alec Baldwin, and Hillary Clinton. ( 📈 MAGA Nation Lauds Ruling on Doc Case : “Crooked Joe Will Fail, Trump Will Win Back the White House “ ) ( 📄 Georgia Governor Betrays Trump For Jack Smith )
As the public learns of these startling revelations, it raises essential questions about the conduct of public figures and the ethical standards expected of them. Should taxpayer-funded resources be used for personal profit? What safeguards should be in place to ensure transparency and accountability for politicians and former presidents? We invite you, our politically mature audience from the USA, to share your thoughts and opinions on this emotional and contentious matter. Let us engage in a thoughtful and spirited discussion that can help shape our expectations and demands from those in positions of power.