What’s worse than a cheapskate? A cheapskate who lies about being generous.
Trump repeatedly promises money to charities and then stiffs them.
In the past 15 years, Trump has promised to donate earnings from a wide variety of his money-making enterprises: “The Apprentice.” Trump Vodka. Trump University. A book. Another book. If he honored all those pledges, Trump’s gifts to charity would have topped $8.5 million.
Trump also brags about his charitable foundation, but the last record of any gift from him to the foundation was in 2008.
The Post also contacted 167 charities with some connection to Trump (like, he appeared at an event for them, or praised them publicly), but between 2008 and this May they could only find one donation to any of them, and that was for less than $10,000. That’s right, in eight years a person who claims to be worth $10 billion only donated one millionth of his (claimed) net worth to charity. To put that in perspective, the person just behind Trump on Forbes’s ranking of net worth gave $120 million to charity in 2013 alone.
But that doesn’t stop Trump from lying about his generosity. As the Post put it “What has set Trump apart from other wealthy philanthropists is not how much he gives — it is how often he promises that he is going to give.”
Trump seems to use promises of gifts to charity as a sleazy sales technique. After all, people are more willing to buy something (and Trump is always selling something) if they think the proceeds are going to charity.
Don’t get me wrong. Trump has donated money to charities from time to time. Like recently, when Trump held a rally for Veterans and claimed he had raised $6 million dollars. But he didn’t actually give the money to any charities until the media forced his hand.
The Post provides example after example of Trump promising to donate money to charities, or even worse, claiming that he did donate a lot of money to charities, but there is no record that he ever did. Or if he did, the amounts donated were relatively small, and much smaller than what he claimed.
And then of course there is the fact that Trump refuses to release any tax returns. One can only imagine what is he hiding.
UPDATE: A new document uncovered by The Guardian filed by Wells Fargo Bank with the SEC on behalf of Trump, offers strong evidence that despite Trump’s repeated claims that he is worth more than $10 billion, that in 2012 his net worth was around $4.2 billion (less than half that). Even more troubling, his liquid assets were around $250 million. As The Guardian points out, this puts the lie to Trump’s claim that he could self-fund his presidential campaign. He has already loaned his campaign around $50 million and will need far more than $250 million for the general election.