According to a bombshell report from the Washington Post, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump not only doesn’t contribute any of his own money to his charity The Trump Foundation, he also used $20,000 of donor money to buy a six-foot painting of himself.
For months, the Post‘s David Farenthold has devoted himself to finding and verifying Trump’s often-boasted-about charitable donations.
“I don’t have to give you records,” Trump said to the Post in May, “but I’ve given millions away.”
Armed with spiral notebooks, ballpoint pens and a telephone, Farenthold has called charity after charity and found virtually no evidence of Trump ever reaching into his own pocket to donate. In fact, Trump’s usual version of charitable giving involves soliciting donations to the Trump Foundation and then, essentially, re-gifting that money to other charities, foundations and political campaigns.
“(N)early all of its money comes from people other than Trump,” Farenthold said. “In tax records, the last gift from Trump was in 2008. Since then, all of the donations have been other people’s money — an arrangement that experts say is almost unheard of for a family foundation.”
“Trump’s foundation appears to have repeatedly broken IRS rules, which require nonprofit groups to file accurate paperwork,” wrote Farenthold Saturday. “In five cases, the Trump Foundation told the IRS that it had given a gift to a charity whose leaders told The Post that they had never received it. In two other cases, companies listed as donors to the Trump Foundation told The Post that those listings were incorrect.”
Farenhold described the Trump Foundation as a “threadbare, skeletal” operation. Its only employees and administrators are Trump, his sons Eric and Donald Jr., daughter Ivanaka and one other administrator.
The foundation makes dozens small gifts each year, all of which comes from donors other than the Trump family. However, occasionally Trump will dip into the foundation’s holdings to buy things for himself.