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Trump, facing multimillion-dollar fines, is now selling $399 shoes

For most of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has blamed President Biden for making everyday items unaffordable.

The former president, for his part, is now selling $399 shoes.

Trump appeared at Sneaker Con — a footwear convention for shoe aficionados and collectors — in Philadelphia this weekend, where he introduced his latest business venture: high-tops shoes and sneakers.

On stage, the front-runner of the GOP primary race held up golden sneakers emblazoned with his “T” logo and the American flag. Some in the crowd cheered as the president called the shoes “the real deal.”

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” Trump said about his shoe line. “I think it’s gonna be a big success.”

The shoes — called the “Never Surrender High-Tops” — are not the first product the former president has hawked to his loyal base of followers.

Outside of the infamous “Make America Great Again” red hats, the former president’s lines of merchandise have included shirts sporting his mug shot as well as Trump-branded vodka, cologne, shirts, ties — even furniture.

According to a website dedicated solely to Trump’s sneakers, the shoe line is “super limited” — only 1,000 pairs were being sold.

The small print on the site notes that the shoes are not “designed, manufactured, distributed or sold” by Trump or his organization but rather by a company identified as 45Footwear, LLC, which uses Trump’s name and likeness under a license agreement. The site claims to be “not political and has nothing to do with any political campaign.”

But the former president appeared to allude that the shoes were part of an effort to reach younger voters, saying: “We’ve got to get the young people out to vote.”

“We’re going to turn this country around fast,” Trump said. “And we’re going to remember the young people, and we’re going to remember Sneaker Con.”

By Sunday morning, the shoes appeared to have sold out. Trump’s site promises they are estimated to ship in July.

The site also offers two different $199 pairs of Trump shoes — not gold, though, as the others are red or white. The former president is also selling a new fragrance on the site, “Victory,” which the site promises to ship out by June. The cologne is described as “the signature scent of strength and success” designed “for the decisive and the bold.”

Trump’s announcement of his new shoe line came a day after a judge in New York ordered him to pay about $350 million in penalties plus interest following a civil fraud trial in which he was found to have carried out a years-long scheme to use false financial data to borrow money at lower rates alongside his adult sons and other top executives at the Trump Organization. Trump has promised to appeal the decision.

While the former president is not cash strapped — Bloomberg Billionaires Index recently estimated the former president’s net worth at $3.1 billion, with about $600 million in cash — the fine could consume more than half of those assets, potentially prompting the company to sell more real estate if it wants to free up cash.

Some of Trump’s critics appeared to suggest that the former president is selling shoes to help pay for the fine. The campaign of former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, in a statement, said that while Trump “hawked overpriced sneakers to pay his legal bills, Haley met with voters and shared her vision for a strong and proud America.”

President Biden’s campaign also mocked Trump for his shoe venture.

“Donald Trump showing up to hawk bootleg Off-Whites is the closest he’ll get to any Air Force Ones ever again for the rest of his life,” said Biden campaign spokesman Michael Tyler.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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