Trump Used Foundation Donations in Self-Dealing, Business & Personal
The Donald J. Trump Foundation, a highly contested charitable organization set up by the President elect Donald Trump has admitted to self-dealing and using donation funds to help Trump out in business and personal interests.
According to a 2015 IRS tax return filed by the foundation’s attorneys, the boxes for questions regarding the transfer of “income or assets to a disqualified person” and engaging in self-dealing with foundation donations were both checked “YES”.
Back in September of this year, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman initiated an investigation in Trump’s foundation because of a $25,000 donation to a SuperPAC supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Local news in Florida reported that back in 2013, Bondi was considering joining Schneiderman’s “multi-state case” against Trump University when Trump gave Bondi the money while trying to cover up the political contribution by recording that the donation was given to a charity in Kansas.
Bondi’s office had twenty-three complaints about Trump University filed before she became attorney general, and one more filed after she took office, but she did not open a “formal investigation”.
Recent revelations in the media have shown Donald Trump was attempting to influence Bondi with the donation.
And beyond the illegal donation, the Trump Foundation illegally purchased a $20,000 six foot tall portrait of Trump and spent $12,000 football helmet signed by Tim Tebow.
Journalist David Fahrenthold discovered that Children’s Place at Home Safe, a Florida charity, held a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago back in 2007, featuring Michael Israel, the painter of the six foot tall picture of Trump.
Israel was paid $10,000 for the painting by the Trump Foundation, the other $10,000 supposedly spent on the portrait cannot be accounted for.
The Trump Foundation is a close knit organization run by the three eldest children – Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric – and does not contain much of Trump’s own money.
The foundation survives on donations from other people such as Richard Ebers and Prestige Mills, Inc., NBC Universal, and World Wrestling Entertainment because Trump has not contributed to his own foundation since 2008.
In total Trump has given $2.7 million of his own money.
Giving away other people’s money is what the foundation does, and Donald takes credit for the donations even though the cash he gives originally belonged to someone else.
In 2010, Trump was praised for his “selfless support” of the Palm Beach Police Foundation, before the organization found out that he had been in New Jersey at a function for the Charles Evans Foundation – telling those in attendance that “he was raising money for the Palm Beach Police Foundation.”
Hope Hicks, spokesperson for Trump’s presidential campaign, asserted that Donald has given away “tens of millions of dollars” over the course of his life, but offered no evidence that this is true. The only evidence of Trump’s charitable donations comes from the foundation’s collection of other people’s money.
One of the largest donations given by Trump Foundation was $100,000 to the Citizens United Foundation. Trump joined the president of that organization to his presidential campaign.