The three items will have an opening bid of $250,000, and bidding will only be accepted via SOL, a form of cryptocurrency.
Trump’s delving into the world of NFTs and cryptocurrency is not a traditional avenue for former first ladies, many of whom write memoirs or continue charitable work outside of the White House.
Many first ladies donate significant items of clothing or other personal items associated with historic moments of an administration to the presidential library associated with their husbands for display, or to other museum-level institutions or organizations. What a first lady wore for certain official occasions, such as a state visit like the one from the French first family to which Melania Trump donned the hat, become part of an administration’s account of history and are considered tangible assets to a period of American politics. For example, several items of Jacqueline Kennedy’s wardrobe as first lady are part of an exhibition within the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.
Donald Trump has yet to announce his intent for presidential library plans. Questions to Melania Trump from CNN about the thought process behind her NFT sales have gone unanswered.
On December 16, Trump announced her first NFT, a limited release which closed December 31 that consisted of a watercolor drawing of her eyes by Coulon for sale for $150. CNN has reached out to Trump’s office for clarity on the number of NFTs sold and the profits, as well as what portion would go to support foster children, which Trump’s statements have indicated will be the case. The last paragraph of Trump’s latest announcement about the three auction items on her personal website includes the line: “A portion of the proceeds derived from this auction will provide foster care children with access to computer science and technology education. “
CNN has sought clarity numerous times from Trump’s spokesperson about the “portion of the proceeds” the statement says will be donated to “Fostering the Future,” which is described as a “Be Best Initiative.” The statement about the auction says Trump will “grant the opening round of scholarships to recipients during the first quarter of 2022,” though details about the scholarships were not included.
A preview of the items on Trump’s website began Tuesday, with bidding on the lot, entitled “The Head of State Collection,” set to open January 11 and run through January 25.