Donald Trump Supporters Think President Will Make Them Rich If They Buy Iraqi Money

A number of people in the U.S. have bought millions of Iraqi dinars in hopes that President Donald Trump would revalue the currency to make them rich.

Rumors that the U.S. government was planning to set the Iraqi dinar—currently worth .00084 of a dollar—to something equal to or even beyond the dollar predate Trump, going back to the period of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's rule before the Gulf War in the early 1990s. The U.S. first took military action in response to his invasion of Kuwait, later sanctioned Baghdad and ultimately unseated the leader in a 2003 invasion, leaving the U.S. in control of a ravaged economy.

As The Daily Beast reported Tuesday, however, this theory has taken on new life under Trump, who some supporters took literally when he promised in April 2017 that all currencies would "be on a level playing field" in response to allegations that China was manipulating the value of the yuan.

A portion is seen of an eBay auction Web page in which a person is selling what they say is a '25 Iraqi Dinar currency note' April 10, 2003, less than a month into the Iraq War. The seller promises the value will exceed that of the U.S. dollar. eBay web site/Getty Images

In April 2003, exactly one month into the Iraq War, Newsweek's Sally Atkinson penned this in response to a reader from Lahore, Pakistan, who asked what his 100,000 Iraqi dinars would be worth after the war:

"Sadly, they're not worth much even now. Before the first gulf war, one dinar equaled about $3. Now one is worth less than half a penny. So your 100,000 are good for only about 50 cents. And they'll probably be worth even less when the war ends, says Bob Hormats, a Goldman Sachs economist. At some point, the new Iraqi government will likely create a new dinar (without Saddam's picture on it) and allow old ones to be converted, but a war rarely helps the exchange rate. Hurry and sell them on eBay before everyone else does."

But as a new conflict raged between U.S. troops and Sunni Muslim insurgents in 2006—the year Hussein was executed by the Washington-installed Shiite Muslim government in Baghdad—mainstream media outlets began to report on a peculiar trend in thinking among investors.

In January of that year, CNN financial editor Walter Updegrave strongly cautioned a reader inquiring on whether or not they should buy into the Iraqi dinar hoping its value would restabilize. That September, ABC News investigated the phenomenon and, a month later, Boston Magazine, was speaking to self-styled investors in the Iraqi dinar as well.

The years dragged on and, though Iraq's crisis only deepened, droves of online sites continued to sell Iraqi dinars to customers in the U.S., promising them that the revaluation was right around the corner. One of the most consistent critics of the theory has been Forbes's John Wasik.

A woman counts new Iraqi dinars debuted without the visage of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who was overthrow by a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and executed in 2006, at the Bank of Baghdad, October 15, 2003. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

In 2013, as the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) that emerged out of Iraqi's Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants began to wreak havoc across Iraq and neighboring Syria, rumors surfaced that Wells Fargo would begin to trade in the dinar, a notion Wasik shot down.

By 2015, he reported that the FBI was investigating Iraqi dinar dealers. The following year, Wasik noted the Securities and Exchange Commission had filed a complaint against a Utah man who made some $1.7 million selling dinar while claiming to have inside knowledge on an upcoming revaluation.

The schemes continued, however. Just last month, "one of the largest Iraqi dinar exchangers in the United States were convicted by a federal jury following a five-week trial," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta, where two co-owners of Sterling Currency Group and its chief operating officer were found guilty of peddling the embattled currency.

Quick searches on Google and Twitter show plenty of believers are still buzzing about a potential Iraqi dinar revaluation, and hoping that billionaire businessman-turned-president Trump will be the one to bring it about.