In what was described as a rare moment of honesty, President Donald Trump reportedly told his wealthy friends dining at Mar-a-Lago Friday night that "you all just got a lot richer."
The comments -- first reported by CBS News on Sunday -- came just hours after Trump signed the $1.5 trillion Republican tax bill into law.
According to two of Trump's friends who described the Friday-night event to CBS, the president "directed those comments to friends dining nearby at the exclusive club." Given that the Mar-a-Lago initiation cost is $200,000 and annual dues are $14,000, it's safe to assume that those "friends" are "some of the most affluent members of society."
As Common Dreams has reported, Trump has been increasingly open about the central objectives of the GOP tax bill since it passed both houses of Congress. On Friday, Trump bragged that "corporations are literally going wild" about the legislation, comments that came a few days after Trump described the bill's corporate rate cut as "probably the most important factor."
Polls have consistently found that Americans did not buy the GOP's attempt to present their tax bill as a boon for the middle class. A CBS News poll published earlier this month found that 76 percent of Americans believe the Republican tax bill will benefit large corporations, while only 31 percent said they believe it will help the middle class.
Independent analyses have shown this view of the bill to be correct. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 80 percent of the bill's benefits will go to the top one percent by 2027, while millions of middle class Americans will see their taxes rise.
On social media, critics of the president noted that -- at least in private -- "Trump is finally telling the truth about his tax bill."
At least Trump is finally telling the truth about his tax bill. https://t.co/pEwx0DvRiq— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 24, 2017
This is an example of Trump telling the truth. https://t.co/Q3Fo7KVSEj— David Sirota (@davidsirota) December 24, 2017
Trump said his tax bill was terrible for his rich friends. Now he’s bragging about giving them a big tax cut. https://t.co/z9wPtPyBFk— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 24, 2017
“I have some very wealthy friends -- not so happy with me” - Trump to voters at a Missouri rally— Adam Best (@adamcbest) December 24, 2017
"You all just got a lot richer” - Trump to wealthy friends at Mar-a-Lago
This GOP tax bill was a scam to hoodwink average folks, hook up the wealthiest Americans. This proves it.