In Brief

Why Donald Trump supporters are being urged to buy his $3m childhood home

Current owner of the New York City property hoping to cash in on devotion of the president’s following

The owner of Donald Trump’s childhood home in Queens has launched an online campaign that may see the president and his family reclaim the five-bedroom property.

Trump’s supporters are being urged to contribute to a crowdfunding drive aimed at giving him the Tudor-style house in Jamaica Estates “as a gift - once the $3m price tag is met”, The New York Times reports.

The “unusual” real estate manoeuvre is a clear bid to“capitalise on the devotion of some of Mr Trump’s supporters”, with the hope that “the same commitment that has driven them to attend his large rallies in the middle of a pandemic will also induce them to open their wallets”, says the newspaper. 

The fundraiser, hosted on the GoFundMe platform, is called: “Love Trump? Thank President Trump by contributing to this campaign to buy his childhood home in his honour!”

The house -  built by Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump, in 1940 - was put up for auction last autumn, but failed to meet the reserve price.

The property had previous sold for about $1.4m in 2016, before being snapped for $2.14m at an auction the following year by the current owner, whose identity reportedly “remains obscured behind a limited liability corporation called Trump Birth House”.

The home was then offered as an Airbnb rental for a few years, during which Oxfam booked in for a night and invited four refugees over to talk to journalists. The international aid charity staged the publicity stunt after “the Republican president’s administration issued travel bans on people from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees”, as The Independent reported at the time.  

In more recent years, the Queens property has stood empty, however.

The White House has yet to comment on the newly launched fundraiser. But Misha Haghani of Paramount Realty USA, which has represented the property in three past auctions, said: “I believe if the president were to accept the property, he would do something with it in honour of his presidency.

“It’s either that or he’ll just donate it to some charity.”

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