Yesterday, Caitlin MacNeal reported that Donald Trump had been bombarding MPs from the United Kingdom with fundraising emails asking for money to fund his campaign against “Crooked Hillary.” Then last night I reported that Trump and his sons have been upping the ante and sending emails to every member of the parliament of Iceland also asking for money.
“I have no idea why he emailed me the letter,” said MP Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, a member of Independence Party. “This whole matter is very perplexing. The letter left me speechless,” said MP Katrín Jakobsdóttir, head of the Left Green Party. If you’re wondering if this is as bizarre as it sounds, Yes, it totally is. Trump and his wastrel sons appear to be developing a new composite literary form – the hybrid campaign money ask/Nigerian email scam email. ‘Dearly Beloved in Christ, I am former billionaire Donald Trump, now fighting to regain my fortune from Crooked Hillary …” But once I posted about Iceland, the floodgates truly opened. Those weren’t the only countries.
I’ve now confirmed that Trump and sons have also been sending emails to all the MPs in Australia and Denmark. I have unconfirmed reports that MPs in Canada also received them. Indeed, Labor MP Tim Watts of Australia tells me he’s gotten a flood of emails from the Trump’s asking for money to defeat Crooked Hillary.
Now, you’re likely asking: what on Earth is going on here? Obviously, it is strictly against US election law to receive campaign contributions from foreign nationals. I suspect knowingly soliciting them is likely also illegal. And when you’re soliciting money from foreign parliamentarians it’s probably a pretty good bet they’re not US citizens. But obviously, as big as a buffoon as Trump is, and as crooked as he is, there’s no possible way his campaign is intentionally soliciting small donor contributions from members of foreign parliaments. Somehow this must be incompetence in how they bought their email solicitation lists. But how?
Candidly I didn’t know you could easily buy the email list of all members of the Icelandic parliament. But it seems like you can.
Now a few people suggested that maybe someone was just pranking Trump – going to the website and signing up various foreign parliamentarians and dignitaries. But this seems far too systematic for that. It does appear to be every member of each parliament. You’d need to collect each email and then manually add them in on the Trump website, somehow get them to confirm the opt-in confirmation email. It’s too complicated. These are lists that were almost certainly added from within the campaign.
The only plausible answer seems to be that the Trump campaign either dealt with a sloppy or disreputable list broker or was so desperate after its horrible May FEC report was released that it went to a broker and just said they wanted every list and they’d sort it all out later. I confess that both scenarios seem a little farfetched. But some version of one of them basically had to happen, unless there’s a prankster actually inside the campaign.
To give another example, I heard this morning from a Democratic Senate Chief of Staff who also got the emails. Folks like that get fundraising emails from everyone under the sun. No surprise. But he told me he never gets them at his senate.gov email. And it’s obvious why. You’re not allowed to do that and it’s the easiest thing in the world to scrub a list of all the .gov addresses.
For right now, we’re scouring the world to find all the other parliaments the Trumps are currently spamming. And they do seem to be hitting these people with multiple emails. Like a lot.
So again, how can they be this incompetent, raining shame down on America by bombarding the descendants of Vikings with perplexing emails about his battle with Crooked Hillary?
As one of my colleagues noted, they need to be raising a ton of money right now, like before midnight tomorrow. Why? Because the June fundraising report will drop in late July, right during the GOP convention. If it looks as ridiculous as the last one, that will be a big problem. So basically, Iceland, Denmark, Australia, blast out the rafters. They appear to be desperate and incompetent and, because they’re desperate and incompetent, traumatizing members of parliament in countries around the world because of it.
MacNeal continues on the story. We’ll bring you an update later.