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Not Charitable!

It turns out that when we were calling the Trump Foundation a charity, we were being extremely charitable. Because it turns out that our presidential candidate who claims to be a genius businessman didn’t even bother to file the paperwork to register the foundation as a charity. Or file any of the reports required of a charity.

Not only that, but Real Clear Politics did a study of the Trump Foundation’s filings (which are public) and found that Trump repeatedly used money from his Foundation to secure endorsements and other personal benefits to advance his political campaign. So Trump’s charity, which wasn’t actually a charity, was using other people’s money to buy political influence. Which makes it doubly illegal.

I guess because rules — like paying taxes, or against calling yourself a charity or a university fraudulently — “are for the little people”, not Donald Trump.

So, how did the Trump campaign respond to this? As usual, they attacked. During the vice presidential debate, Mike Pence flat-out lied by insisting that only 10% of the Clinton Foundation’s money goes to charitable endeavors. According to PolitiFact and major charity watchdog groups, the number is actually at least 87%.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    QUESTION? And the one to check is the Veteran one during the Primaries. Were the donations listed as tax deductible to the donators? And will the donators to the Veterans be in trouble on their tax return if claiming money they gave to that donation? (Used to allay Trump’s campaign expenses probably)

    I don’t know. I just know not to deduct the money I donated to Bernie

    Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 5:10 am | Permalink
  2. TJ wrote:

    Please confirm for me, because I’m trying to understand:

    The Trump Foundation was founded 20ish years ago and is a legitimate charity and operated lawfully as such through 2015, at least in terms of soliciting donations from the public. A charity that solicits donations from the public has to submit additional paperwork and goes through extra scrutiny, but the Trump Foundation legitimately wasn’t required to do so through 2015, at least according to the evidence presented in the article. In 2016 the Trump Foundation set up a website to solicit donations from the public for veterans groups, but they didn’t file the necessary paperwork to be able to do so legally. New York has now demanded that the Trump Foundation cease doing so and to submit the proper paperwork within 15 days. Presumably the Trump Foundation will also be required to go through the additional scrutiny referenced above when it files taxes for 2016.

    In addition to all this, at some point the foundation gave a political donation in Florida that was definitely illegal (for many reasons). It has also made other very questionable transactions over the past few years, including using foundation money for Trump’s personal use.

    Am I correct? Am I missing anything? Thanks!

    Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink
  3. TJ wrote:

    “legitimate charity” only in the legal sense.

    Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Just because that article didn’t present evidence that Trump was abusing his “foundation” before 2015, doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t.

    Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  5. TJ wrote:

    I am just trying to make sure that I understood what the article said. He was definitely abusing his foundation whether the foundation solicited donations from the public or not.

    Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 10:10 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ah, the article said that it was unclear whether Trump solicited donations before 2015. It was only in 2015 that Trump set up a website to solicit donations.

    Friday, October 7, 2016 at 3:11 am | Permalink