As the press — camped out in the lobby of Trump Tower — report on the near-constant comings and goings of politicians, business executives, and celebrities on their way to meet with the U.S. president-elect, his social calendar is coming under scrutiny, and some wonder just how you get a meeting with Donald Trump. It turns out that it's actually surprisingly easy (unless, of course, you're the director of National Intelligence). While Trump refuses to listen to daily intelligence briefings, instead delegating such a trivial task to Vice President-elect Mike Pence and retired generals John Kelly and James Mattis, Politico has reported that he'll take a meeting with just about anyone else who asks nicely, from talent agents to city councilpersons to presidents he's not supposed to formally recognize as presidents.
A phone call to his security guard, his personal assistants, or indeed a number of different advisers can get you a phone call from Trump in as little as 15 minutes, as was the case for Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, or even a same-day face to face meeting, like Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. And you needn't be "big league," either; Erin King Sweeney, a town councilwoman from Hempstead, New York, who characterizes herself as "the smallest of small local public officials," described to Politico a recent meeting during which Pence photographed visitors with a pink camera, at Trump's direction.
Of course, having a famous name certainly won't hurt your chances. After rapper Kanye West delivered a series of pro-Trump remarks at his concerts, and was subsequently hospitalized, reportedly for temporary psychosis, one of his top priorities on a recent trip to New York was to meet with Trump to "discuss multicultural issues," and he was welcomed with open arms. But could those open arms be conditional? The Washington Post reported that at a 2015 rally, Trump said of West, "He goes around saying Trump is my all-time hero. He says it to everybody." And rumor has it that Twitter executives were excluded from a recent tech roundtable with Trump because of a grudge over the social media company's refusal to create a "Crooked Hillary" emoji, although the Trump transition team denies it. So it's perfectly plausible.
There is another avenue for meeting Trump that's come under fire in recent days: The Opening Day Foundation, a nonprofit created just days ago, with Trump's sons Eric and Donald Jr. listed as directors on the official paperwork, is now advertising a reception for Trump scheduled for Jan. 21. Eric and Donald Jr. are referred to as the "Honorary Co-Chairmen" of the event, as well as in the initial flier, and a stated $500,000 donation will buy you a "private reception and photo opportunity" with the president.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied that the Trump family had anything to do with the event or the foundation, and that the flier was "merely initial concepts" that hadn't been officially approved, according to CBS News. Eric and Donald Jr.'s names have been removed from the foundation's registration, and private receptions are no longer offered, but the event is still scheduled to take place.
It appears there are plenty of simple ways to get yourself a meeting with the president-elect. Unfortunately, depending on whether your in his good favors, that final invitation may or may not come through.