FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2012 file photo, alleged counterfeit $100 U.S. dollar notes sit on display during a media presentation in Lima, Peru. Unlike most other counterfeiters, who rely on sophisticated late-model inkjet printers, the Peruvians generally go a step further _ finishing each bill by hand. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro, File)

Does Trump Buy His Endorsements?

Donald Trump trumpets how he’s free from political influence, because nobody gives him money. It’s one of the central pillars of his campaign. He has also bragged how he’s bought politicians.

You know, it’s interesting. I was looking at the ones I’m running against. I’ve contributed to most of them — can you believe it? I’ve contributed to most of them. And one of them said, No, I don’t think you’ve contributed to me. They found out I did. I contribute to everybody. I’ve given to Democrats. I’ve given to Hillary. I’ve given to everybody, because that was my job. I’ve got to give to them. because when I want something I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass. It’s true. They kiss my ass. It’s true.

Hillary seems to know.

Caught on a hot mic on Monday, Clinton was discussing such topics as Tommy Smothers, Ed Sullivan, the end of Downton Abbey, and Donald Trump with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. The subject of Chris Christie’s endorsement came up.

The subject quickly turned to Christie, and Clinton wondered: “Why did he support him?”

Matthews explained that Christie and others who support Trump “want a future” politically.

“Did he have a debt?” Clinton mused.

Hillary knows how Trump does business. It’s plata o plomo for the New York billionaire, silver or lead. Support him and you are rewarded. Oppose him, and he will destroy you (or try to). That’s how it’s done. It’s also the Chicago way, as Hillary learned dealing with her nemesis and frenemy Barack Obama.

We have to wonder what else Trump has bought. Back in August, there was widespread speculation that Trump had bought positive coverage from Breitbart.

One current editor alleged that an executive confirmed the arrangement last year. Another staffer said he had heard something similar but couldn’t provide further details. A third staffer said he knew of “several instances” when managers had overruled editors on Mr. Trump’s orders.

“Additionally, a conservative communications operative who works closely with Breitbart described conversations in which ‘multiple writers and editors’ said Trump was paying for the ability to shape coverage, and added that one staffer claimed to have seen documentation of the ‘pay for play,’” Buzzfeed reported.

Based on the mass exodus from Breitbart over almost unhinged support for Trump, appearances would lend themselves for us to continue speculating–the circumstantial evidence is powerful.

Should Trump become the nominee, he will taint the GOP with influence peddling beyond anything we’ve ever seen. Should he attain the White House (which seems a distant possibility but always present), American politics will enter its most corrupt period in many, many decades.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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