Reality-challenged billionaire Donald Trump has long claimed to be a paragon of philanthropy, allegedly donating more than $100 million over the last half decade alone. “I give to hundreds of charities and people in need of help,” Trump told the Associated Press last year. “It is one of the things I most like doing and one the great reasons to have made a lot of money.” Those claims have been repeatedly cast into doubt, to put it mildly. Publicly available records for the Trump Foundation show that the real estate mogul has donated very little of his own money to his charity. Even more damning is the fact that few of those donations have gone to legitimate charitable causes, unless you count Trump’s own social interests and society galas as charities.
According to an unofficial audit by The Washington Post, which dug through the records of 167 charities to which Trump had pledged money since 2008, only one donation was actually on the books: a gift to the Police Athletic League of New York City, made in 2009, for somewhere between $5,000 and $9,999. The other millions that Trump said he would donate apparently never materialized.
Promising money and then not following through isn’t new for Trump. Between 1987 and 1991, the Postfound that the Trump Foundation only ever gave $137,000 of the $1.9 million that was pledged to causes such as AIDS research, veterans, and homeless organizations—about 7 percent of what was promised. The remaining 93 percent went to groups that the Post characterized as “society galas, his high school, his college, a foundation for indigent real estate brokers.” A ballet school Ivanka Trump attended received $16,750, while Eric Trump's private high school received $40,000—“more than the homeless, AIDS and multiple sclerosis contributions combined.”
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