The Trump campaign made it perfectly clear that Trump's 'space force' fantasy is just another way for his campaign to make money. And his White House is none too pleased about it.
Uh oh. Looks like the Trump campaign is in trouble — with the Trump White House.
Last week, Mike Pence went to the Pentagon to deliver what was supposed to be a very serious speech about Trump's "space force" fantasy, a sixth "separate but equal" branch of the military "to prepare for the next battlefield."
An hour later, the Trump campaign proved that all the talk of this "space force" is really just a way to sell campaign swag to Trump fans — and ultimately line the pockets of Trump himself.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale sent an email declaring, "As a way to celebrate President Trump’s huge announcement, our campaign will be selling a new line of gear."
Now, the Trump White House is quite displeased with the Trump campaign for revealing the absurd "space force" to be the joke that it is.
"We had an objectively good roll out," a White House official told Axios. "And then the campaign does that and makes it all look like a joke." The official complained that the campaign acted with "zero White House input" when it announced to the world that it would be selling "space force" swag.
"Campaign went rogue," the official added.
Of course, it's pretty clear that using the non-existent and not-going-to-happen "space force" for Trump's campaign was always the point. The Pentagon has made clear that it has no interest in establishing this new military branch. And Trump isn't finding support for the idea from his fellow Republicans in Congress either.
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the number-two Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, plainly stated he is "opposed" to the idea.
"I know the president has strong feelings," he said. "I think we can do that without a new branch."
Trump has frequently used his presidency to shill for his re-election campaign and his properties. Last year, he used Hurricane Irma as an opportunity to sell campaign hats. He has visited his own properties 189 times since taking office, not only making sure the names of his properties get free advertising but charging the Secret Service to use amenities at his facilities for his protection.
And he's personally raking in millions of dollars from the slush fund that is his re-election campaign.
Trump's White House usually doesn't take issue with the blatant way he and his campaign use the presidency to make money.
But the Trump campaign was so eager to start cashing in on the vice president's speech, with the Pentagon as a backdrop, that even the Trump White House seems to recognize how inappropriate the whole thing looks. And that's really saying something.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.