Well, this is interesting.
Tony Schwartz, the co-author of Trump’s book, “Art of the Deal” tweeted out what a lot of us are thinking, on Friday.
No way Trump donates $1m of own money to Harvey victims. He only promises to give. Never actually does.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) September 1, 2017
Look, the idea of a man who claims to be worth nearly $10 billion pledging $1 million to this worthy cause is a really nice gesture, and I hope he carries through.
That being said, words matter.
“He’ll pledge, proudly, $1 million of his own personal money to help the people of Texas and Louisiana,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a press briefing on Thursday.
Yeah. I know. I’m a cynic, and highly suspicious of anything coming from Trump. We all know that, but it’s not without cause.
What Huckabee-Sanders said was that he will pledge… not that he had pledged, or that the check had already been written.
And what is a pledge, anyway? It’s just a promise, but not actual action.
I would have been a lot more stoked to hear he’d written a check and put it in the right hands to help with relief efforts.
Back in 2016, Trump claimed to have raised around $6 million for what he said would be used to help veterans’ groups, after boycotting the seventh Republican debate and holding a fundraiser, instead.
At that time, he also said he’d contributed $1 million from his own pocket.
Both claims were determined to be false.
To make matters worse, it took four months for any of the groups he’d pledged the money to to receive a check. Those checks were dated May 24, 2016. That just happened to be the day the Washington Post released an article questioning how much money he’d raised and why none of the groups had received a dime.
Trump’s explanation at the time was that there was a vetting process before distributing the money, and that his team wanted to see the tax information for those groups (Yeah. Irony.). His team, however, claimed that all the groups had been chosen back in January, so wouldn’t that suggest that they’d been vetted, then?
The facts are, Trump lied about how much money there was, lied about contributing $1 million, himself, and then only paid up months later, after pressure from the media during a presidential campaign.
So while I really hope he makes good on the claim by Huckabee-Sanders of putting some of his own money to relief efforts, I’m going to err on the side of caution, when it comes to trusting somebody with Donald Trump’s track record to actually keep his word.