Before, Donald Trump announced his intention to run for the Republican nomination for President, many people were not aware that he also had a charitable group called the Trump Foundation. The Trump Foundation has become the topic of conversation after the Washington Post reporter, David Fahrenthold, investigated and alleged that the Republican nominee may have improperly spent donations intended for charity.
According to public records, the Trump Foundation was founded in Trump in 1987. Trump originally created the foundation to help give away the proceeds from his book “The Art of the Deal.” The most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service lists that there are no employees of the group and that there are 5 board members. They include Donald Trump, three of his children and one longtime employee of the Trump organization, Allen Weisselberg, the Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Foundation.
The Washington Post has reported that the Trump Foundation’s only source of money was Donald Trump himself. Indeed, Trump donated $3.7 million to his charity but after 2008 Trump stopped donating to the foundation. Since then the money that has been donated to the foundation came from a variety of donors, including Vince and Linda McMahon, NBC Universal, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. The investigation into how the money that was raised is now what is being questioned.
According to RealClearPolitics.com, From 2011 through 2014, Trump used his foundation to send at least $286,000 to influential conservative or policy groups in a bid to get in name in the game of running for President. The conclusion RealClearPolitics.com came to was that the” contributions were part of a deliberate effort by Trump to ingratiate himself with influential conservatives and brighten his political prospects.”
One particular donation is how many people found out that there was even a Trump Foundation. The foundation gave $25.000 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was running for re-election. The IRS ruled that the donation was illegal and Trump was fined $2500.00 for that action. The donation has raised eyebrows and suspicious minds as it came as Bondi was considering allegations that Trump University who was being investigated for defrauding customers in Florida. Bondi found there was no fraud involved with the real estate course called Trump University. The matter has since been closed.
On Monday, the biggest blow came to the Trump Foundation as it was learned that New York found that the charity had never filed the correct paperwork to solicit charitable donations. Even though the New York Attorney General is a supporter of Hillary Clinton, denies his investigation is politically motivated and that the decision is based on the lack of documentation needed to operate as a charity in New York. A cease and desist letter was sent to the Trump Foundation informing the charity they must stop taking in donations in New York.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing when it comes to donations to and from the Trump Foundation.