Trump’s mid-disaster stunt for attention is despicable

Amid the wreckage wrought by Hurricane Sandy, Donald Trump still managed to make headlines. In a video posted on YouTube from the top floor of a Trump Tower on Oct. 24, he offered $5 million to a charity of Obama’s choice in exchange for the public release of the President’s college transcripts and passport applications and records by last Wednesday.

Trump even had the gall to extend his “offer” to noon on Thursday when the hurricane hit, and when Obama didn’t respond by this deadline, Trump decided that, “Obviously he wasn’t born of this country, or, if he was, he said he wasn’t in order to receive financial aid and in order to have a clear and very easy path into a college or university.”

One could step back from the ridiculousness of the previous statement for a moment and consider that, not only has Trump never met Obama, but the President has no more obligation to respond Trump’s accusations than those made by any other American citizen.

Obama is merely exercising his right as an American to ignore things he doesn’t care about. And surely Obama recognizes Trump’s vehemence on this issue as at least 50 percent publicity stunt — as does Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who on Friday offered Trump $1 million to shave his head.

The adage “any publicity is good publicity” is no longer true for Trump’s case, no matter how devoutly he lives by it. Yes, he has radical opinions on Obama, like that he might be an expatriate Muslim from Kenya. This fact doesn’t give him justification to bribe the President, nor does his vampiric thirst to stay relevant in America’s culture.

More offensive than Trump’s usual publicity stunts, however, is that he was dangling $5 million in front of the President during a huge natural disaster that hit his own New York City.

When Trump made his Twitter post moving his extortion deadline to Thursday, apartments and subway systems were flooding over, and people were dying throughout New York and New Jersey.

If Trump had that much money to spare on a charity of Obama’s choice, then perhaps the money would be better spent saving the lives and homes of those affected by the hurricane.