“Look, let me just tell you how screwed up this is,” he continued, noting how before he became chair in 2009, critics said he was trying to profit off the RNC via his book on how the Republican Party could regroup after the 2008 election loss.
“And these days they’re just giving away $100,000 to the president’s son?” he asked. “Are you kidding me?”
It’s unclear exactly how many copies of the book were bought up by the RNC, which offered signed editions to donors who contributed $50 or more.
Steele called the RNC’s purchase “just unbelievable.”
The money the RNC used to buy the books had come from “moms and dads, grandpas and grandmas, who write a check for $50, $100 to the RNC to help elect candidates, not to go out and buy some dumb-behind book that nobody’s going to read,” he said.
Reince Priebus succeeded Steele as the RNC chair in 2011. Ronna McDaniel took over role in 2017.
The ascent of Trump Jr.’s book to the top of The New York Times bestseller list prompted some skeptics to suggest it was solely down to the RNC bulk buy.
But CNN Business reported Friday, citing book publishing industry experts, that “it’s very unlikely that the purchase by the RNC […] played a significant role in the book’s No. 1 debut, much less that it was the deciding factor” as it appeared to have outsold the second book on the list even without it.
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