Donald Trump walked into a comic book universe of internet mockery last week, when in a carefully trailed announcement he introduced his “official Donald Trump Digital Trading Card” collection with a picture of himself in superhero costume.
On Wednesday, Trump used his Truth Social media platform - set up after he was thrown off Twitter for inciting the Capitol attack - to trail a “major announcement”.
One observer said that "unless he says I'm guilty and I'm turning myself in, I'm not interested." Others thought he might indeed have written a new Constitution since, on 4 December - reported CNN - the Donald called for the termination of the Constitution in order to overturn the 2020 election and reinstate him to power. But no! Hilariously, if possible, it was even more bizarre.
In what, with hindsight, appeared a wildly obvious clue that the forthcoming announcement might not be in the traditionally dignified vein of statements from former presidents, that video featured Trump saying “America needs a superhero” over an animation of himself standing outside Trump Tower, ripping open his suit to reveal a superhero costume and shooting lasers from his eyes.
His announcement on Thursday turned out to be yet another self-promoting, money making scheme. Who could have ever imagined such a thing?
The ex-president, freshly sprayed with his favourite tanning lotion over the ripped chest muscles we all knew he had been modestly hiding, announced a new superhero card collection in the form of NFTs. Cards cost ‘only $99 each’ and ‘would make a great Christmas gift’, he said in the video as he made his ‘major announcement’.
“Just when you thought this grifter couldn’t humiliate himself any more than he already has,” wrote John Kiriakou, a CIA whistleblower turned author, “there’s this. THIS is what the big announcement was.”
By Friday, the day after the announcement, the global mockery was almost universal. A giant tsunami of mirth and ridicule. However, it's not surprising that he's increasingly desperate to raise money. Trump’s need for funds has increased recently, amid unprecedented legal jeopardy over his business and political affairs - and the House January 6 select committee is considering a criminal referral against him for obstruction of Congress.
Bloomberg says that Trump has succeeded in entering the Non-Fungible Tokens market just as it has cooled dramatically. One year ago, the total market capitalization of NFTs stood at $23 billion. Today, it sits at just $2.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. It's all a bit of a head-scratcher.
However, by Friday night, Trump had managed to offload his entire stock of 45,000 at $99 each, netting him $4.5m. Wonders never cease to amaze.