Trump had billed himself as a philanthropist long before he decided to throw in his hat into the presidential election ring
Donald Trump’s charity foundation spent its largest-ever made donation of $264,631 to renovate a fountain outside the windows of Trump’s Plaza Hotel in New York, The Washington Post reported last week after investigating into the Republican presidential candidate’s claims regarding philanthropy.
Trump had billed himself as a philanthropist long before he decided to throw in his hat into the presidential election ring. According to The New York Times, Trump has described himself as an “ardent philanthropist” who has been “involved with numerous civic and charitable organisations”.
However, various media reports and investigations have shed light on a pattern where Trump’s donations appear to benefit his own cause first and foremost.
Not for charity and not with his own money
Trump’s charitable foundation is called the Donald J Trump Foundation, and, according to the Washington Post report, the billionaire has used the foundation’s funds to settle legal disputes involving his for-profit companies and to buy two large portraits of himself in the past.
The report added that according to tax records, Trump has donated $5.5 million to the Trump Foundation over its life since it was founded in 1987, and nothing since 2008.
Further, a separate Washington Post report revealed that Trump’s charitable gifts are not always from his own pocket.
Citing the example of contributions made to the Palm Beach Police Foundation by Trump, the report said that the sum Trump donated was actually given to his charitable foundation by the Charles Evans Foundation after Trump expressly told the organisation that he was raising funds for the aforementioned police foundation.
The Donald J Trump Foundation received $150,000 from the Charles Evans Foundation, the report added, which Trump in turn then donated to the police foundation without spending a dime from his pocket. Further, when he received an award from the police foundation for his philanthropy, the event was hosted at Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and the police foundation had to pay to rent the place, with the amount being unrevealed.
Using charitable funds for political purposes
In September this year, the Post reported that Trump’s charitable foundation had made a donation of $25,000 to a campaign group affiliated with Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi in 2013 and subsequently had to pay a $2,500 penalty to the Internal Revenue Service since using the foundation’s money for political purposes is against the law.
The report added that when the donation was made Bondi was contemplating investigating fraud allegations against Trump University. However, in time, she decided not to pursue the case.