A Washington Post examination into Donald Trump’s charity revealed that nearly all contributions made by the Donald J. Trump Foundation come from other charities. He takes donors’ money and gives it away as if it’s from his own pocket. The Post report also cited tax records showing that The Donald stopped making donations after 2008. For the last eight years, gifts have been from other donors. On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he’s opened an investigation into the Donald J. Trump Foundation “to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York.”
“We’ve inquired into it,” Schneiderman said during an interview with CNN. “We’ve had correspondence with them. I didn’t make a big deal out of it or hold a press conference. But we have been looking into the Trump Foundation to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York.”
In one “re-gifting” instance, Trump approached the Charles Evans Foundation, a charity in New Jersey, asking for a donation for the Palm Beach Police Foundation, a South Florida police group.
The Evans Foundation agreed to give money to the cause, and donations from them to the Donald J. Trump Foundation totaled $150,000 in 2009 and 2010.
Trump then took that money and donated it to a Florida police group without including any of his own. “I don’t have to give you records, but I’ve given millions away,” Trump had bragged earlier this year in response to the allegations that he retooled his charity foundation to re-gift donations (and to use other people’s dough to purchase a $20,000 life-size portrait of himself).
But Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns makes showing any verification of charitable contributions impossible to confirm. He started the charity in 1987.
In 2013 Trump’s foundation contributed $25,000 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. That donation came just as she was thinking about signing on to Schneiderman’s case about alleged fraud at Trump University. Not long after, Bondi chose not to. Both Trump and Bondi denied to Politico that there was any quid quo pro.
It appears as though Trump has had a long habit of re-gifting. In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. told Page Six Magazine that this was a family “tradition.”
“Look, I’ve been re-gifted presents that I’ve given my family,” the son, then thirty, said. “You know, they’re like, ‘Oh, great, thanks!’ and then you end up getting it back the next year.”