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The Trump invite is in the mail

The Trump invite is in the mail

Late-arriving inaugural invitations meant to be keepsakes for supporters
The Trump invite is in the mail
President Donald Trump addresses the crowd at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2017.
Photographer: Doug Mills/The New York Times

At the risk of promoting fake news, we can say that your invitation to see Donald John Trump and Michael Richard Pence sworn in to the highest offices in the land in January didn't get lost in the mail.

The official-looking invitations arriving in recent days in the mailboxes of Trump campaign contributors are coming more than a month after the presidential inauguration. And while they are only commemorative, they're not worthless.

You can find one on eBay for as little as $6.95, though the price could come down now that more of them are showing up for free in the mail.

In recent days, Capital Region Trump backers -- like those across the country -- have received formal-looking envelopes marked "Do Not Bend" from the Committee for the Presidential Inauguration in Washington.

When opened, they contain an official "commemorative invitation" to the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as president -- an event that happened on Jan. 20.

Perhaps they were lost in the mail for a while. That could explain the dispute about the inauguration crowd size, with official estimates putting it in the 250,000 range, and Trump aides -- and Trump himself -- claiming the crowd was far larger.

TRUMP_INAUGURATION_126.JPG

The invites have ignited discussion in chat rooms on the internet, where it was common for receivers to think the invitations were real and blame the U.S. Post Service for delivering them far too late.

Getting answers, though, isn't easy. The website presidential-inaugration.com says it's not affiliated with Trump and advises in bold case type: "Do not send complaints or comments about late invitations that were received."

They look real enough, though the word "commemorative" is there, in the same swirling formal script as the rest of the invitation.

Such invitations are a pretty common reward to contributors, along the lines of commemorative World Series or Super Bowl memorabilia, said Steve Bulger, the Saratoga County Republican chairman.

"It's pretty common for these kinds of events," he said. "I know the state Republican Committee is selling commemorative inauguration lapel pins. Usually they go out to donors and supporters, to local Republican elected officials."

So they're something the recipients can throw away or frame, even put up on the wall and pass on to their grandchildren a future "alternative fact" of the kind that makes great family lore -- that they were there in Washington on the rainy and chilly day that President Trump was sworn into office.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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