The Obamas’ deal with Netflix—a lucrative bag secured last year—trended on Twitter Monday morning after Donald Trump used it to shield himself from accusations he was using the presidency to enrich himself.
Trump has drawn renewed scrutiny recently, thanks in part to a federal lawsuit, about whether and how his businesses have benefitted from his being in office, particularly as foreign governments and federal officials seem to make a point of supporting his hotel and resort businesses.
On Monday, Trump lashed out at Democrats eager to investigate him over these potentially unconstitutional dealings and suggested Obamas’ book and production deals be investigated instead.
“I will, and have always expected to, lose BILLIONS of DOLLARS for the privilege of being your President - and doing the best job that has been done in many decades,” Trump fumed on Twitter. “I am far beyond somebody paying for a hotel room for the evening, or filling up a gas tank at an airport I do not own. These Radical Left Democrats are CRAZY! Obama Netflix?”
Anyone with more than three brain cells to rub together understands the key difference between the Obamas’ Netflix partnership and Trump’s business dealings: they weren’t announced until well after Barack Obama left office (May 2018, to be precise). The post-presidential book deal is also standard for modern ex-presidents, as are top-dollar speaking fees. Trump, meanwhile, has suggested his luxury golf resort in Miami, The Trump National Doral Miami Golf Club, host the next G7 summit. As the New York Times noted, the property is the Trump family’s “biggest moneymaking asset,” but appears to have struggled financially since Trump ran for president in 2015.
Of course, the point isn’t to make a lick of sense. The point is to deflect criticism by siccing his rabid followers on anything Obama-related. Charges of corruption? Blame Obama. The nation’s top athletes uninterested in eating McDonald’s burgers in a circle with you? Blame Obama. Looking a bit orange in the light? Blame Obama and his energy-efficient lightbulbs. Issues with the air conditioning in the White House? Definitely blame Obama.
For many, though, Trump’s tweet was free promotion for the Obamas’ Netflix projects, which currently include two documentaries, one about post-WWII New York and another about an Ohio factory in which American auto workers have been replaced with Chinese glass manufacturers, according to Vice.
Sometimes, it be your own Twitter fingers.