Former President Donald Trump has said his non-fungible token (NFT) trading cards were about the “art” and not about money.
The digital trading cards that show Trump as various characters such as a superhero, cowboy, and an astronaut were originally sold for $99 each and all 45,000 sold out in the first 12 hours after their release.
Trump spoke to conservative network OAN about the trading cards on Friday. In a video clip of the interview shared to Twitter by attorney and former Republican Ron Filipkowski, Trump said that he had previously know nothing about NFTS.
“Well I knew nothing about them and then a group came and I loved the art. They showed me the art,” the former president said. “You know, it’s sort of comic book art when you think of it, but they showed me the art and I said, gee, I always wanted to have a 30-inch waist.”
“I’m looking at this stuff and I’m saying ‘Wow, that’s sorta cute, that might sell, that might sell.’ They thought it would sell in six months, it sold in six hours,” Trump said.
Trump also acknowledged that those who initially bought the digital trading cards for $99 may have made a significant profit. The resale value of the cards on NFT trading platforms such as OpenSea have fluctuated since their release.
On December 17, the floor price for the trading cards on OpenSea peaked at 0.82 Ethereum, the equivalent of about $999. As of Saturday morning the floor price on the website stood at 0.23, or around $280.
“I heard The Wall Street Journal or somebody said it was the investment of the year,” Trump said on Friday, and noted that he had been criticized when he announced the NFT collection.
When asked if he was looking at NFTs as a new way to make money, Trump went on: “I didn’t view it as investment. I viewed it as – I thought they were cute. For $99 you’re getting these visions that are very beautiful and interesting, I think, and I viewed it that way much more so than as an NFT.”
The former president was the subject of criticism and some mockery when he launched the NFT collection. Trump had teased a “major announcement” that led to speculation that he would announce his running mate for the 2024 election, a potential lawsuit or even his intention to seek the speakership of the House of Representatives.
Former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon suggested that whoever advised Trump to launch an NFT collection should be fired.
“He’s one of the greatest presidents in history, but I gotta tell you, whoever…business partner [or] anybody on the comms team and anybody at Mar-a-Lago…and I love the folks down there, but we’re at war—they ought to be fired today!” Bannon said on December 15.
Newsweek has asked former President Trump’s office for comment.