A new investigation into potential corruption in the Trump Foundation has uncovered proof that Donal Trump is no where near the philanthropist that he claims to be. The investigation was conducted by The Washington Post, and they have unearthed surprising information that reveals the true nature of the Trump Foundation’s use of charitable funds. The investigation reveals that the foundation accepted donations from third party individuals and entities only to claim credit for the donations themselves. That money was then spent on personal expenses for the foundation and Trump himself, which means Trump profited off of the charitable giving of others.
One such example is a donation for $150,000 that was made by The Charles Evans Foundation from New Jersey. That donation was made to the Trump Foundation, and the Trump Foundation then donated the same amount of money to the Palm Beach Police Foundation. Trump even went so far as to accept an award for the generosity of the donation from the Palm Beach Police Foundation. He accepted the award, which was known as the Palm Tree award, at a private event held at his Mar-a-Lago mansion. He even made a profit from the event where they gave him the award since he rented the room in his mansion to the police for the event. While it is unknown how much of the taxpayer’s money Trump received for the rental, a tax return for the department shows they paid over $275,000 on a separate occasion to rent the same space.
The problem with the Trump Foundation is that Trump doesn’t donate any of this own money to the foundation. It has been nearly 10 years since Trump last donated from his private wealth, which means every donation made by the Trump Foundation is recent years has come from money donated to the foundation from other sources. The result is that Trump appears to run a charitable organization, when in reality he is merely a middleman for the true charitable givers and the final recipient, which does nothing but allow him to take social credit for the donations. Trump has even been caught using money from the Trump Foundation to purchase gifts for himself, including a life-size painting of himself that cost over $20,000. During this investigation by The Washington Post, over 250 charities were contacted in order to track down supposed donations from the Trump Foundation, but a vast majority of the charities to whom Trump claimed to donate money had no record of receiving any such donations.
It is difficult to reconcile Trump’s behavior with something that a common or decent man would do. His actions are much closer to that of a dictator or king wielding absolute power without the fear of backlash. He once bought himself a signed helmet from Tim Tebow, and he spent over $12,000 on it. He also used money from his foundation to distribute political bribes, not unlike what was paid to Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General, in exchange for favorable treatment during an investigation into one of Trump’s shadier organizations, Trump University.
There aren’t many experts on charitable giving who agree with Trump or his nefarious practices. In fact, many industry leaders claim they have no idea how the Trump Foundation could still exist in the wake of their obvious illegal activity. It makes no sense that Trump would criticize Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for doing exactly what he and his foundation have been doing, especially considering the fact there is no evidence of wrongdoing from the Clinton Foundation. Trump merely sees charity as another tool to help boost his career.