Trump memes explode as deadline approaches for $464m bond repayment: ‘Don Poorleone’

As Donald Trump approaches his $464m bond payment deadline on Monday, social media users have come together to coin yet another nickname for the former president: “Don Poorleone.”

The meme uses an image of the iconic Marlon Brando character, Vito Corleone, from “The Godfather“ and adapts his famous line.

While Vito Corleone vowed to “make him an offer he can’t refuse”, the Trump meme states: “I made an offer everyone refused.”

The hashtag also inspired posts about other members of the Trump family.

“#DonPoorleone and his #FamilyFullOfFredos,” one X user wrote, including a photo of Mr Trump and his two sons, Eric and DonJr, and referring to wayward son Fredo Corleone from the Godfather movies.

On Monday, the former president must post a $464m bond payment to comply with a New York civil court ruling that found him guilty of fraud earlier this year. New York State Judge Arthur Engoron also found that Mr Trump’s adult sons, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, were liable for fraud alongside their father.

The same ruling barred Mr Trump from doing business in the state for three years. The money owed is the sum of what the president must forfeit as “ill-gotten gains” and interest that has accrued since.

If he does not pay by the 25 March deadline, New York Attorney General Letitia James has said that her office will ask the court to seize Mr Trump’s assets.

Mr Trump’s legal team told the court last week he did not have the funds to post bond. Mr Trump faces “insurmountable difficulties” securing the bond, according to his attorneys.

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The former president approached “about 30 surety companies through four separate brokers” to no avail this month.

On the Sunday political show, “Inside with Jen Psaki,” the lawyer and commentator Neal Katyal referenced the meme while discussing Mr Trump’s financial woes.

“There is a reason why I think some people are calling Donald Trump ‘Don Poorleone’ right now, and it’s because he’s kind of talking out of both sides of his mouth,” Mr Katyal said.

Despite Mr Trump’s attorneys telling the judge that he doesn’t have the money, the former president said on Friday that he has “almost five hundred million dollars in cash.”

“His lawyers say he can’t get the money in time, he’s getting on Truth Social — his social media platform — and saying he can,” Mr Katyal continued.

“You know, these things don’t make much sense together. It’s a microcosm of what got Trump in trouble in the first place: Lying about his assets. And now he’s kind of doing the same thing.”

Mr Trump has also reached out to his supporters, asking for donations in an email blast, and warning that he could lose his properties. This inspired yet more social media posts. “Revenge is a dish I can no longer afford without your patriotic cash gift. #DonPoorleone,” wrote one person on Twitter/X.

The Independent has contacted the Trump campaign for comment.

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