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Evicted, arrested and being sued by the boss: When will MAGA learn loyalty to Trump ends in sorrow?

Evicted, arrested and being sued by the boss: When will MAGA learn loyalty to Trump ends in sorrow?
Evicted, arrested and being sued by the boss: When will MAGA learn loyalty to Trump ends in sorrow?


When I saw the news that the stock price of Truth Social went into freefall after the company initally went public for $8 billion, I immediately sent a joke to a friend text circle: “Whoever allowed the contract to keep Trump from dumping the stock until 6 months post-sale is gonna be covered in ketchup.” Shortly after it was released, the company’s stock soared to $70 a share, initially meaning Trump, on paper at least, had netted $3 billion in wealth. But Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, told CNN he was “confident the stock price will eventually drop to $2 a share and could even go below that,” because Truth Social’s business model is not conducive to profit. 

“The large mismatch between stock price and stock value will sorely tempt the cash-poor Trump to sell off a significant portion of his shares, in a potential maneuver that I believe I am the first to label ‘Trump and dump,'” Timothy Noah of the New Republic joked. “Pump and dump is an unethical practice where influential figures talk up a stock they own a lot of shares in, artificially inflating the value, and then sell it off for a major profit before the rubes realize they bought a lemon. Because Trump is contractually obliged not to sell his shares yet, he’s watching the value slide downhill before he can cash in, while other hustlers openly brag to Reuters they used the blind loyalty of Trump fans to pull off the pump-and-dump.

One investor bragged he bought at $35 when the stock first released, waited “for Trump’s fan base to hear about it,” which doubled its value, and then dumped it. Because of these shenanigans, Trump’s already lost a billion of his initial $3 billion valuation. 

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We do not know yet how many ketchup bottles lost their lives due to Trump’s anger over this, but he’s found a public way to lash out at his underlings: He’s suing them.

In a lawsuit filed right before public SEC filings showed Truth Social lost $58 million last year, Trump tried to push the blame onto his co-founders, two former “Apprentice” contestants named Wes Moss and Andy Litinsky. It is true the two only managed to get, as Noah calculated, fewer than 2% of MAGA Republicans to create accounts. But still, they managed to make Trump $2 billion richer (on paper), while also giving him an outlet to whine incoherently for hours a day. That is, of course, how it goes: Bend over backward to help Trump out, and he will thank you by coating you in rage-ketchup. 

It is repulsively true that Trump wriggles out of consequences for his crimes time and time again. But that is because he is a master at finding someone else to take the fall for him, from the January 6 defendants to his former lawyer Michael Cohen to Fox News and Rudy Giuliani.

Trump regularly offers paeans to the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, holding a ceremony to honor those who are facing legal consequences for their criminal efforts to help him overthrow the government. Sometimes he even promises pardons. All this is done for a nakedly obvious purpose: To convince followers to risk their own skins in the future on Trump’s behalf. But it’s telling that Trump never offers any material support to the over 1,300 people who have been charged with crimes. Despite his claims to be a “billionaire,” he hasn’t paid their legal bills or helped their families after they lost their jobs.  He loves to get publicly maudlin about Ashli Babbitt, the insurrectionist shot by Capitol police, but he didn’t offer to say, cut back a little on his golf club budget to pay for Babbitt’s funeral. 

Wednesday, yet another Jan. 6 defendant was convicted. Taylor James Johnatakis got 7 years in federal prison for carrying a megaphone and barking orders at rioters as they attacked police. “In any angry mob, there are leaders and there are followers. Mr. Johnatakis was a leader,” the judge said, correctly. But it’s also true that Johnatakis was following the lead of Trump. Maybe he’ll be included in Trump’s future public singalongs about the so-called J6 hostages. But he certainly didn’t get a dime of support from Trump during his criminal trial. 

All of this fake support for people who commit crimes for him seems to have bamboozled Tyler Vogel, 26, of Lancaster, New York. Last week, Vogel was arrested by Erie County authorities for texting threats to New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York Justice Arthur Engoron, who prosecuted and presided over Trump’s civil case for committing decades of fraud in New York. “Mark my words I will kill you if you even dare to permanently steal Donald Trumps assets or his property,” Vogel texted after Trump lost the case, incurring a fine of nearly half a billion dollars. 

Not that Vogel deserves an ounce of sympathy, but this is yet another pitiful example of someone throwing everything away for a man who would not give them a penny if they were starving. It’s especially pathetic to see someone give up his freedom to defend Trump’s “right” to keep private jets and golf courses that were obtained through decades of fraud. Trump has been on social media for months, unsubtly begging his supporters to get violent against law enforcement trying to hold him accountable. But we can all guess how much he’ll do for this one guy who did what his orange god-emperor asked of him: Absolutely nothing. Yet that reality never seems to breach thick MAGA skulls, where the faith that Trump cares about them — despite daily evidence he does not — seems immovable. 

When is the last time Trump even bothered to call Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, who put his considerable fortune to work paying for what Trump would not: Various efforts to validate the Big Lie and rally support for Trump’s coup? Lindell’s once-mighty linens empire was delivered another humiliating blow last week when his company was evicted from a Minnesota building after falling behind $200,000 on rent. The month before, Lindell was hit with a $5 million judgment, owed to a software engineer who entered Lindell’s “Prove Mike Wrong Challenge,” in which Lindell claimed no one could debunk his supposed “evidence” that President Joe Biden stole the 2020 election from Trump. But the “data” Lindell claimed to have appears to be random nonsense that has nothing to do with the election. 

Good luck to that engineer ever seeing a penny of what’s owed. Lindell hasn’t been paying his lawyers and had MyPillow ads removed from Fox News for non-payment. He’s also facing a massive defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which already won a similar lawsuit against Fox News for airing false claims that the company was part of a conspiracy to steal the 2020 election. Dominion is seeking over $1 billion in damages. Trump’s minion Rudy Giuliani has also gone broke in his push to help Trump steal the election. He finally filed bankruptcy in December, after losing a defamation lawsuit, to the tune of $148 million, for false accusations aimed at two random election workers in Georgia. 

MAGA never learns, though.

After months of insisting to the press that she would prevail in court, failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake declined to defend herself against a defamation lawsuit filed by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican official she’s been lying about for years in her efforts to pretend the 2022 election was stolen from her. The reason she backed down, of course, is the same reason Giuliani eventually did. And it’s the same reason why Infowars host Alex Jones refused to cooperate in the defamation lawsuits he lost: They know the evidence they lied is so overwhelming it’s impossible to argue against it. 

Considering that a jury will soon decide how much Lake owes Richer for lying about him, you’d think she’d shut up and start performing the remorse she is clearly incapable of feeling. Instead, she’s out there talking smack about him, releasing a video where she openly gaslights him with, “Show me on a doll where my words hurt you” and offering to pay him for a “therapy dog.” Richer has documented the death threats against him and his family, for which people are still getting arrested.

It seems that MAGA people believe they are endowed with the impunity that Trump has so long enjoyed, due to his wealth and status. It is repulsively true that Trump wriggles out of consequences for his crimes time and time again. But that is because he is a master at finding someone else to take the fall for him, from the January 6 defendants to his former lawyer Michael Cohen to Fox News and Rudy Giuliani. Loyalty to Trump doesn’t mean getting a piece of his unbelievable levels of undeserved privilege. It just means being the next in line to be thrown under the bus as Trump escapes accountability yet again. 

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