Trump Inauguration Team Is Offering Ambassadorships in Exchange for A-List Talent
Donald Trump’s inauguration committee doesn’t seem to be running into any problems raising the $65-$75 million it expects to raise for Inaugural festivities, thanks to big corporate donors hoping to curry favor with the Administration (and there is, inexplicably, nothing illegal about this). Trump has set a $1 million limit for corporations (Obama refused donations from corps), but no limited on individual donors (Obama set a $50,000 limit), which means individuals can curry a lot of favor with a big check. Pay $1 million, for instance, and you can have an “intimate” dinner with Mike Pence and his wife and have lunch with Trump’s cabinet appointments, among several other perks.
The problem is coming with Trump’s inability to spend that money, specifically on A-list talent. The Beyoncés , Madonnas, Katie Perrys, Justin Timberlakes, and Adeles aren’t exactly lining up to perform at a Trump inauguration, and Trump’s inaugural committee is willing to spare no expense. Few are biting, and so far, the list of those willing to align themselves with the wrong side of history is grim.
Since money hasn’t worked, the Trump team has upped their game. According to The Wrap, they are now offering ambassadorships to talent managers who can lure A-list talent to play at the inaugural ball.
The bookers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were approached by members of Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee in recent weeks with offers of cash or even plush diplomatic posts in exchange for locking in singers.
The first insider said he was “shocked” at the proposal: “Never in a million years have I heard something so crazy,” he said. “That was the moment I almost dropped the phone.”
But according to the insider, there was no ambiguity about the ambassadorship offer. “My first thought was, ‘Are you joking?’” he said. “But no, it was serious.”
The insider, who has secured talent with the star power Trump’s team is seeking for past inaugurations, said he “didn’t like what was going on” and politely declined the offer. The conversation lasted only a few minutes, so no additional specifics were discussed, he said.
A second insider said he was offered a government post, including an ambassadorship, if he could wrangle a top artist. The insider, a talent manager, said he knew at least two other people who have been offered similar deals, but who did not wish to speak to the news media.
Asked how the subject of a possible ambassadorship came up, the second recruiter said he was offered “access to the administration.”
“They said they were in the process of ‘figuring out posts, ambassadorships and commissions’ if that was of any interest,” the manager said.
It is not unusual to give ambassadorships to political pals of the President. In fact, about one-third of ambassadorships are appointed this way, but offering them to a talent manager is insane, and obviously unlikely to work. Any talent manager that could book Justin Timberlake, for instance, is probably going to make boatloads more money in the private sector than the $150K or so he or she would get as an ambassador.
Source: The Wrap