Donald Trump 'used other people's money to donate to charity'

The Republican presidential nominee last donated to his own foundation in 2008

Rachael Revesz
Sunday 11 September 2016 09:21 BST
Mr Trump gave more than $5 million to the family foundaton, but paid it out as quickly as it went in
Mr Trump gave more than $5 million to the family foundaton, but paid it out as quickly as it went in (Getty)

Donald Trump has allegedly used his own charitable foundation to accept other people’s money and pay it to different charities while taking the credit for himself.

According to a Washington Post investigation, the Republican’s Donald J Trump Foundation, which was set up in 1987, last received a donation from the man himself in 2008.

In 2010, Mr Trump was honoured at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida for his “selfless support” and a $150,000 donation to the Palm Beach Police Foundation.

Yet the money came from the Charles Evans Foundation, named after a late businessman, after Mr Trump had asked them for a donation.

The Palm Beach Police Foundation that honoured his donation reportedly paid to use Mr Trump’s beach resort to hold the gala. It was unclear how much they paid, but the Washington Post discovered the foundation rented Mar-a-Lago in 2014 for $276,463.

The Post analysed 17 years of tax filings and interviewed more than 200 individuals or groups listed as donors or beneficiaries, and discovered that most donations to the family foundation did not come from the Trump family.

As well as middleman fundraising and failing to submit accurate paperwork to the Internal Revenue Service, Mr Trump also allegedly used $20,000 of charitable money to buy a six-foot-tall painting of himself.

The investigation comes shortly after the nominee was discovered to have paid $25,000 of charitable money to a campaign group affiliated with Florida attorney general Pamela Bondi called “And Justice For All”.

The Trump campaign could not be immediately reached for comment.

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His charity was set up to donate some of the proceeds from his book Trump: The Art of the Deal. It is managed by Mr Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Junior, who spend half an hour per week on the foundation, according to the latest report in 2014.

The most money the foundation ever had was $3.2 million at the end of 2009. In comparison, Hillary Clinton’s family foundation, which has received both heavy praise and criticism for its charitable work and foreign donors, had $440 million in the bank at the end of 2014.

The Republican nominee gave $5.4 million from his own pocket between 1987 and 2006. He reportedly gave that money away as fast as he put it in, ensuring the foundation remained a skeletal operation.

Donors include NBC Universal, which gave $500,000 in 2012. Some of the money would have been used to donate to charities that Mr Trump had promised to pay out of his own wallet whilst filming his reality television show Celebrity Apprentice.

In late May, Mr Trump called out the "shameful and dishonest" press for reporting that he had delayed in giving close to $6 million to charities which help military veterans, which was raised at an event in January.

“I wanted to keep it private, if we could, as I don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I give money to the vets,” he said at the Trump Tower in Manhattan.

“I send people cheques for a lot of money and instead of being like 'thank you very much, Mr Trump, nice job', they say 'who got it, who got it’,” he added.

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