Trump crashed a charity event for kids with AIDS, sat on stage, danced the Macarena, left without giving a dime. https://t.co/VsFXTokjdR
— Steven Ginsberg (@stevenjay) October 29, 2016
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) October 29, 2016
If this guy’s pretending to be a billionaire wasn’t such a profitable grift, his adult children would have him under supervised guardianship, because some of these stunts seem distinctly pathological. Kudos to the Washington Post‘s David Fahrenthold for staying focused:
… For as long as he has been rich and famous, Donald Trump has also wanted people to believe he is generous. He spent years constructing an image as a philanthropist by appearing at charity events and by making very public — even nationally televised — promises to give his own money away.
It was, in large part, a facade. A months-long investigation by The Washington Post has not been able to verify many of Trump’s boasts about his philanthropy.
Instead, throughout his life in the spotlight, whether as a businessman, television star or presidential candidate, The Post found that Trump had sought credit for charity he had not given — or had claimed other people’s giving as his own…
In the books he wrote or co-wrote about himself, Trump frequently praised charitable giving in the abstract — casting it as a moral response to his vast wealth… In the same books, Trump seemed to regard charity differently when he encountered it in his day-to-day life. In those cases, it sounds like a hassle. A game he can’t win, and hates playing.
“The people who run charities know that I’ve got wealthy friends and can get them to buy tables,” Trump said in “The Art of the Deal,” explaining why he’d turned down a charity request from New York Yankee Dave Winfield. “I understand the game, and while I don’t like to play it, there is no graceful way out.”
“I can remember a friend who asked me why I had so many charity events at my properties,” Trump wrote. “I said to him, ‘Because I can!’. . . It’s a great feeling, and it makes all the work that goes into acquiring all those beautiful properties and buildings worth it.”
But that’s not entirely a story about how Trump gives money away. It’s also a story about how Trump makes money.
Charities pay him to rent out his clubs and banquet rooms for fundraiser galas. At the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, they can pay $275,000 or more for a single night. Sometimes, Trump has given donations from the Trump Foundation to the charities that are his customers. But in some of those cases, he still comes out ahead…
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 29, 2016