Sunday, September 25, 2016

Trump and the truth: His charitable giving

This is just one more area in which Trump and his representatives lie to the American people. John Cassidy of the New Yorker pulls together the facts - numbers that prove, when it comes to philanthropy, Donald Trump to be a penny pinching piker. Equally importantly, it appears that his foundation has recently been making donations of a political nature to other "charities." Here is some of the Cassidy wrap-up.

By looking at the Trump Foundation’s annual tax returns, it is easy to see the change in its funding sources. For example, the organization’s 2008 return shows that Trump donated $30,000 that year, while the Willard T. C. Johnson Foundation, a charity established by the heirs to the Johnson Foundation, had given $250,000, and the Charity Fight Night Foundation, a celebrity charity that raises money for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and other causes, had donated $150,000. (Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets, is a friend of Trump’s.) In 2011, Trump gave his foundation nothing, while Richard Ebers, a ticket broker to celebrities and rich people, donated $450,960. In 2012, Trump again gave nothing, while Ebers gave $522,828, and NBC Universal Media, which made “The Apprentice,” the reality-television show that starred Trump, donated $500,000.

In addition to confirming that Trump didn’t donate a penny to his foundation from 2009 to 2014, the tax returns show a change in the foundation’s outlays. For years, many of the foundation’s biggest contributions went to well-known charities, such as the Red Cross, the American Cancer Foundation, and various hospitals. Also high on the list were charities associated with famous golfers, such as Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer. In recent years, however, the Trump Foundation also made large donations to charities associated with political causes. In 2012, $100,000 went to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is now run by Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s conservative son. In 2013, $50,000 went to the American Conservative Union Foundation, part of the conservative lobbying group that William F. Buckley, Jr., founded. In 2014, $100,000 went to the Citizens United Foundation, which is part of the network run by David Bossie, the conservative activist.

Trump hasn’t explained these donations. But the recipients of that money have helped Trump in his bid for the Presidency. Last year, when Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, Franklin Graham defended the proposal. Earlier this month, Trump hired Bossie as his deputy campaign manager.

... Trump likes to portray of himself as a great philanthropist, and the numbers simply don’t justify that image. When you also consider the fact that he has managed to convert his personal foundation into a mechanism for giving away other people’s money, rather than his own, it brings to mind something Marco Rubio said back in February: “This guy is a con artist. He’s always making things up. And no one holds him accountable for it.

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