Donald Trump’s baffling video, featuring a cartoon of him dressed as a superhero, was a prelude to the former US President’s bid to flog so-called Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) of himself to his supporters, at $99 a pop, it has transpired . In the clip, shared by the billionaire yesterday on his Truth Social media platform earlier this week, Mr Trump remarks “America needs a superhero”.
A caricature of the 76-year-old, who last month confirmed his intention to run for President once again in 2024, then rips open his shirt to reveal a costume underneath while lasers shoot out of his eyes, with the post teasing a “major announcement”.
He cleared the mystery up today with a second message, this time accompanied by another muscular cartoon Trump in a skintight red costume, with his hands on his hips and a Stars-and-Stripes-themed cape billowing behind him.
He commented: “My official Donald Trump limited Digital Trading Card collection is here.
“These limited edition cards feature amazing ART of my Life & Career! Collect all of your favorite Trump Digital Trading Cards, very much like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting.”
Urging anyone interested in buying one to visit a dedicated website, he adds: “Only $99 each. Would make a great Christmas present.
“Don’t wait. They will be gone, I believe, very quickly!”
He also shared a video in which he said people purchasing the tokens would be eligible for prizes including dinner with himself, as well as suggesting that he is their “favorite President of all time, better than Lincoln, better than Washington”.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, writer and filmmaker Andy Ostroy said: “The social media platform Mr Trump used to prefer but now insists he will never return to, filmmaker “Trump looks absolutely bonkers in this laughably delusional post.
“Worse are the brainwashed fools who belong to this bat***t-crazy cult who see this bloated old fat dude as a superhero…”
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Even some supporters appeared to be unimpressed, with Eric Hopkins posting: “I am Right politically, but when our country is in a rough spot at the moment…the LAST thing the leader of the political opposition to those in power needs to do in this moment is put himself on a “digital baseball card”. He deserves ALL the criticism for this. #Trump #FAIL.”
Meanwhile Ryan Kindt pointed out the English actor now widely tipped to be the next James Bond: “Henry Cavill steps down as Superman en Trump poses as (some kind of) Superman. Coincidence?”
Others were quick to draw parallels with Homelander, the malevolent all-powerful protagonist in Amazon Prime’s dystopian superhero series The Boys, with several sharing a clip of him clad in a similar costume.
Mr Trump may also be trying to shore up his popularity after a poll published yesterday suggested he is lagging well behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is widely believed to be planning to throw his hat into the ring for the contest in two years’ time.
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A Suffolk University/USA Today poll suggested Mr DeSantis, 44, currently enjoys a 56-33 lead over Mr Trump among conservative voters.
David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said: “There’s a new Republican sheriff in town,”
“DeSantis outpolls Trump not only among the general electorate, but also among these Republican-leaning voters who have been the former president’s base.
“Republicans and conservative independents increasingly want Trumpism without Trump.”
In the days after the midterm elections last month, in which Trump-backed candidates performed poorly, Mr. Trump singled out Mr. DeSantis out of criticism, branded him Ron DeSanctimonious, and told him not to run for President.
He told Fox News: “I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly.”