Trump’s Potemkin philanthropy has been a topic of discussion in this campaign since back in February when he held a “fundraiser” for veterans charities as counter-programming to a GOP candidate debate he was boycotting. It seemed that he attempted to keep the money for his own foundation until Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold started digging into the story and shamed Trump into releasing the money and actually giving up some of his own money in the bargain. Since then Farhnethold has been a thorn in Trump’s butt on the subjects of his philanthropy and the activities of his Foundation.
Fahrenthold has broken stories on the Trump Foundation buy an oil painting of Trump for $10,000 and gifting that portrait to Trump. Apparently it also paid several thousand dollars at a charity auction of Tim Tebow’s helmet… which also ended up in Trump’s possession. But yesterday, he broke the big story; Donald Trump has used at least $250,000 dollars from the Trump Foundation to pay fines and legal settlements. This, as you might suspect, is illegal.
Now the Trump campaign has responded… sorta
In typical Washington Post fashion, they’ve gotten their facts wrong. It is the Clinton Foundation that is set up to make sure the Clintons personally enrich themselves by selling access and trading political favors. The Trump Foundation has no paid board, no management fees, no rent or overhead, and no family members on its payroll.
There was not, and could not be, any intent or motive for the Trump Foundation to make improper payments. All contributions are reported to the IRS, and all Foundation donations are publicly disclosed. Mr. Trump is generous both with his money and with his time. He has provided millions of dollars to fund his Foundation and a multitude of other charitable causes.
The Post’s reporting is peppered with inaccuracies and omissions from a biased reporter who is clearly intent on distracting attention away from the corrupt Clinton Foundation, a vehicle for the Clintons to peddle influence at the expense of the American people. Mr. Trump personally and the Trump Foundation, however, are staying focused on their charitable giving to veterans, the police, children and other deserving recipients.
We can agree with the entire critique of the Clinton Foundation and David Fahrenthold and we’d still be left with the smoking crater of Donald Trump obviously using money given to his foundation by other people as his personal piggy bank. There is no explanation offered of any of the blatantly improper uses of Foundation money — the evidence of which was provided in the Foundation’s own filings — only nebulous, generalized denials.
Ultimately, Trump and his Foundation are going to have to answer for this. If he thinks the issue goes away after election day, regardless of outcome, he’s delusional.