Trump's pernicious grift

Why won't Trump just pay his own way?

President Trump boards Air Force One.
(Image credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has long been familiar with the perks of being a celebrity. When you're a star, people give you things for free. Sure, sometimes you have to smile through a boring awards show to get your high-dollar goodie bag, and sometimes you need to take 300 selfies a pop to earn your swag. But it's one of America's annoying little quirks that when you've reached a certain level of fame and fortune, people give you free goods and services.

In politics, it's supposed to be different, for the most part. You're a salaried public servant, and taking things for free is usually seen as tiptoeing up to bribery.

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