Since before the 2016 election, President Donald Trump's raucous campaign rallies have been a defining feature of his bid for the presidency and his overall political brand.
Now, it appears that Trump's private company—the Trump Organization—is setting the stage to profit from the pandemic-induced ubiquity of virtual gatherings and events.
According to a report from the Washington Post, the organization filed to trademark the term "telerally" as it moves to "organizing events in the field of politics and political campaigning."
The effort may be yet another way for the organization to profit from political campaigns, including Trump's own reelection bid. Trump businesses have made millions from hosting countless campaign events, but that likely stalled in the face of virus spikes, especially in Trump establishments in Florida and New York.
Just days after filing for the trademark, Trump held his first "TELE-Rally."
He's continued to use the term to characterize his events.
It's unclear what role, if any, the Trump Organization has in these online events, but it wouldn't be far-fetched to see it lead to Trump's campaign pumping donations from his supporters into his private businesses.
According to the Post:
"In the meantime, Trump's campaign has continued to pay Trump's company for other services, in transactions that turn political donations into private revenue for the president. In all, Trump's campaign and the Republican Party have paid $8.3 million to Trump's company since he took office, including $45,000 last month alone, campaign records show."
People thought Trump was once again moving to profit from his presidential campaign.
Trump's figured out a new way to funnel campaign donations into his own pocket. https://t.co/DY2M8XaoKZ— Brian 'Person Woman Man Camera TV' Beutler (@Brian 'Person Woman Man Camera TV' Beutler) 1595511543.0
@kylegriffin1 And the corruption in plain sight continues, unchecked.— TheSkeptic (@TheSkeptic) 1595451724.0
As a reminder: President Carter had to divest from his family business (a peanut farm) to calm fears he might profi… https://t.co/M87fmbItJ8— Freeloader_HS (@Freeloader_HS) 1595451607.0
Trump Staff Meeting: Staffer 1: "Let's try to convince Trump that holding a ‘telerally' would be just as fun for h… https://t.co/Ww2vQUNzxl— Eric Jotkoff (@Eric Jotkoff) 1595446243.0
@kylegriffin1 Whut? Anything to make a buck— 0. l. l. 2. 9. 2. 9. l. 0. (@0. l. l. 2. 9. 2. 9. l. 0.) 1595457706.0
@kylegriffin1 @katydogcrazy No doubt Trump was expecting to use the term for his events while making the WH pay lic… https://t.co/pmxMxXq1tA— Kevin Mulhall (@Kevin Mulhall) 1595456887.0
But the Trump Organization may face obstacles when it comes to the trademark.
Here's a trademark expert weighing in, to say "telerally" is a fairly generic term, so Trump Org may not be able to… https://t.co/arVGGbGCxs— David Fahrenthold (@David Fahrenthold) 1595514766.0
@Fahrenthold without the hyphen my brain parsed"telerally" as adverb of "teleral" and got very confused— socially distant Scornflake Grrrl (@socially distant Scornflake Grrrl) 1595515169.0
Lookie there.... THIS is DJTs priority. Telerally’s! Not healthcare. Not kids in cages. Not stimulus relief. Not… https://t.co/QciB4WDdej— jenmay (@jenmay) 1595446283.0
Trump is expected to hold more telerallies in the face of the pandemic.