Donald Trump Jr.’s new book, Triggered, hit the top of the New York Times’ bestsellers list this month with the help of nearly $100,000 in purchases from the Republican National Committee.
Federal Election Commission records list a $94,800 payment — identified as “donor mementos” — to BooksAMillion.com on Oct. 29. That same day, the president’s son signed an RNC fundraising email promising signed copies of the book to those who contribute at least $50 to the party. “This limited-time opportunity ends SOON,” Trump Jr. wrote, “so be sure to claim your signed copy of my new book NOW.”
The FEC filing was first noticed by a New York Times reporter. RNC spokesperson Michael Joyce confirmed the expense in an email to BuzzFeed News.
“We have netted $500,000 for the party fundraising off the book,” Joyce added.
An RNC official told BuzzFeed News earlier this month that there hadn’t been “a large bulk purchase,” but that the party was “ordering copies to keep up with demand.”
“Using books as a means to fundraise is standard practice from political parties on both sides of the aisle,” the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, added at the time. “Triggered has been very popular among our supporters, helping us raise funds to support the reelection effort.”
The purchases appear to have been a win-win for the president’s son and the party committee; they have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the RNC and make Triggered a bestseller.
When Triggered appeared on the Times' bestsellers list, it was accompanied by a dagger symbol, indicating bulk purchases instead of organic sales. A Trump campaign official told BuzzFeed News in early November that the campaign had “no plans” for book purchases.
If the RNC "just wanted books to resell, they could have gotten them for less money, direct from the publisher," a New York literary agent told BuzzFeed News. "They spent more, of donors' money, to buy them from BooksAMillion, clearly in an effort to look like 'real' sales."