Ethics

Trump’s Fake Charity is Shutting Down

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

NBC News first reported last night that Trump's fake non-profit charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, will be permanently shut down.

Why? Well, because it was all bullshit.

More specifically, Trump's fake charity has been credibly accused of self-dealing and has been under investigation by the New York Attorney General's office for the past year.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the foundation confirmed that it is being shuttered. "The Foundation continues to cooperate with the New York Attorney General’s Charities Division, and as previously announced by the President, his advisers are working with the Charities Division to wind up the affairs of the Foundation. The Foundation looks forward to distributing its remaining assets at the earliest possible time to aid numerous worthy charitable organizations."

The attorney general's press secretary, Amy Spitalnick, said the foundation can't close just yet, however. "As the foundation is still under investigation by this office, it cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete," said Spitalnick.

It seems reasonable to say the state investigation would not exist and Trump's fake charity would continue to operate today if not for the excellent, Pulitzer-level reporting of David Fahrenthold at the Washington Post.

Fahrenthold meticulously investigated every charitable claim or pledge Trump has ever made and he found that the foundation almost never pays out. He also found that Trump's foundation spent significant amounts of money on memorabilia, such as an autographed Tim Tebow football helmet and large portraits of Trump himself, for his own amusement.

Perhaps the most galling lapse of ethics uncovered were Trump's pledges to various groups of veterans during the 2016 election that the foundation only fulfilled after people noticed that he never actually paid them.

Trump himself hasn't donated to his foundation in nearly 10 years, instead relying on donations from others which he used to furnish his own lifestyle. You might say he's still doing that today, but with taxpayer dollars.

Trump's allies are going to say this shows he's serious about avoiding conflicts of interest, but I think you'd have to be a fool to believe this is happening for any reason other than the ongoing investigation.