Several local news outlets affiliated with ABC News on Friday published an article directing viewers to sign a birthday card for President Trump. But the “card” is merely a list-building scheme for the president’s re-election campaign, per The Daily Beast.
The version of the story posted to ABC 7 in New York, published Friday morning, includes a five-paragraph message that begins with “Happy Birthday, Mr. President! President Donald Trump turns 73 on Friday. To help him celebrate, the GOP has made him a digital birthday card.”
It then links to a Trump campaign website that offers users a chance to add a personal message, along with their phone number and email address.
Similar stories ran on the websites of several other ABC stations; TV outlets affiliated with the same network often share content with one another.
Per The Daily Beast, which cited reporting by The Palm Beach Post, Trump’s campaign is using the president’s 73rd birthday as part of a major push to collect contact information from supporters, as several of Trump’s family members have sent out fundraising appeals to that effect this week.
ABC News local stations help Trump build a campaign email list on his birthday https://t.co/qwIyKcjQ29
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 14, 2019
The message from Donald Trump, Jr., the newspaper says, even includes the phrase “Don’t disappoint him, sign his OFFICIAL Card NOW.” Other messages appeal to the notion that if users sign the birthday card, the president will see their name.
The Palm Beach Post is the hometown newspaper of Trump’s South Florida club, Mar-a-Lago.
While Trump has been holding rallies under the auspices of his reelection campaign since shortly after his inauguration, he will formally kick off his 2020 campaign with a rally in Orlando next week.
Speaking of Trump birthday cards, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, per The Inquisitr, asked supporters late last month to sign a birthday card for the president. Cornyn posted the request on Twitter, more than two weeks early, and more than 6,000 left comments in reply — nearly all of them highly negative about the president. This was compared to only 64 retweets.
Cornyn’s birthday card appeal, like Trump’s, also included spaces for users to enter their phone numbers and email addresses.
In addition, per The Independent, many Twitter users are using the occasion of the president’s birthday to instead praise his predecessor, Barack Obama, in a bid to get “Happy birthday Mr. President” trending with tweets that are actually about Obama. This would serve to annoy the Twitter-obsessed current president. A similar campaign to declare Trump’s birthday “John McCain Day” was also afoot on Friday.