If anyone was wondering why the Trump scampaign banned the Washington Post from its press pool, here’s David A. Farenthold’s latest – “Trump promised millions to charity. We found less than $10,000 over 7 years”:
In May, under pressure from the news media, Donald Trump made good on a pledge he made four months earlier: He gave $1 million to a nonprofit group helping veterans’ families.
Before that, however, when was the last time that Trump had given any of his own money to a charity?
If Trump stands by his promises, such donations should be occurring all the time. In the 15 years prior to the veterans donation, Trump promised to donate earnings from a wide variety of his moneymaking enterprises: “The Apprentice.” Trump Vodka. Trump University. A book. Another book. If he had honored all those pledges, Trump’s gifts to charity would have topped $8.5 million.
But in the 15 years prior to the veterans’ gift, public records show that Trump donated about $2.8 million through a foundation set up to give his money away — less than a third of the pledged amount — and nothing since 2009. Records show Trump has given nothing to his foundation since 2008…
In recent years, Trump’s follow-through on his promises has been seemingly nonexistent.
The Post contacted 167 charities searching for evidence of personal gifts from Trump in the period between 2008 and this May. The Post sought out charities that had some link to Trump, either because he had given them his foundation’s money, appeared at their charity galas or praised them publicly.
The search turned up just one donation in that period — a 2009 gift of between $5,000 and $9,999 to the Police Athletic League of New York City…
What has set Trump apart from other wealthy philanthropists is not how much he gives — it is how often he promises that he is going to give….
These promises seemed designed to reassure potential customers and voters and to reconcile two sides of Trump’s public persona. On one hand, Trump said he had so much money that he didn’t need more. But on the other hand, he was always selling something.
The explanation was that the money Trump was making wasn’t for him to keep…
Apparently it was for him to to pass on to his creditors– a forty-year game of financial musical chairs, which bears some resemblance to what economists call a Ponzi scheme, IIRC.
… Trump’s representatives have repeatedly said there have been many charitable donations from Trump in recent years but that he has purposely kept them under wraps.
This year, The Post got the same response when it probed a separate claim that Trump had made about his charitable giving. At the launch of his campaign, Trump said that he had given away $102 million in the past five years. That figure turned out to comprise mostly land-use agreements and free rounds of golf given away at Trump’s courses.
Trump’s campaign said that none of the $102 million it had counted was actually a cash gift from Trump’s pocket. Such gifts existed, Trump’s staff said. But they were private. If so, those gifts are remarkably difficult to find.
Of the 167 charities reviewed by The Post, 39 declined to comment. Forty others — including the Eric Trump Foundation — did not respond to The Post’s inquiries.
An additional 77 charities had no record of receiving a personal donation from Trump.
That left 11 that acknowledged receiving the kind of personal donation that Trump claims to be giving all the time.
The most recent of those was the gift to the Police Athletic League in 2009.
Insert your own jokes about the Policeman’s Ball.
Much more detail at the link. Joking aside, it looks like the late great Tunch (through his minions in the Balloon Juice community) might’ve funneled almost as much money to animal charities as Donald Trump has actually donated to charities not intimately connected to his own family (his son’s private school, his daughter’s ballet school). And Tunch never tried to use his celebrity to run for higher office.