The Trump Foundation Misused Charity Donations — REPORT

by Alex Gladu
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According to a report from Forbes, the Donald J. Trump Foundation allegedly funneled $100,000 in charity donations into the Trump Organization. The donations reportedly passed through the Eric Trump Foundation by way of a charity golf tournament benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a cause that Trump’s second son is passionate about. However, Forbes claims the donations ultimately wound up as payments to the Trump Organization.

The Trump Organization reportedly declined to comment for the Forbes story, and Eric also offered little comment, stating, "It seems like there is a motive against either myself or my family. And if that is the case, I would simply rather disengage."

In a statement to Bustle, a spokesperson for Eric denied the claims put forth by Forbes. "Contrary to recent reports, at no time did the Trump Organization profit in any way from the foundation or any of its activities. While people can disagree on political issues, to infer malicious intent on a charity that has changed so many lives, is not only shameful but is truly disgusting. At the end of the day, the only people who lose are the children of St. Jude and other incredibly worthy causes," the statement read.

The allegations pertain to an annual golf tournament organized by the Eric Trump Foundation. The one-day tournament takes place on a Trump-owned golf course, and the president's son has previously stated that most of the expenses for the tournament — including the Trump-owned venue — were "comped." As a result, the golf tournament was supposed to operate with very low costs and very high donations.

However, Forbes reported that a $100,000 in donations to the Donald J. Trump Organization was then donated to the Eric Trump Foundation and then paid to Trump Organization businesses. In other words, part of the outside donations was reportedly not passed along to charity, but rather, to the Trump family's businesses.

According to its website, the Eric Trump Foundation has raised $16.3 million for St. Jude in the past 10 years. Earlier this year, the Memphis-based hospital confirmed that total. Eric, who created the foundation when he was just 21 years old, wrote on the foundation's website that St. Jude is "the greatest pediatric research hospital in the world." In 2005, the hospital opened its $20 million Eric Trump Foundation Surgical and ICU Center with support from the foundation and Eric. He stepped away from the foundation at the end of last year in order to avoid a conflict of interest during his father's presidency.

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As for the annual golf tournament that has benefitted the hospital, Eric reportedly told Forbes that "our expenses on a tournament that made us somewhere in the $2 million range every year was somewhere around 100 grand."

There's no doubt that the Eric Trump Organization has done a wealth of good for the young patients at St. Jude. However, the report that the foundation may have been used to funnel outside donations to the Donald J. Trump Foundation to the very much for-profit Trump Organization seem to renew concerns over the presidential family's business practices. For his part, Eric now co-leads the Trump Organization as an executive vice president, alongside his older brother, Donald Jr.