As part of his middle finger to Fox News for not stabbing Megyn Kelly in the back, Trump is sitting out tonight’s Republican debate and running counterprogramming. Trump is claiming to be raising money for veterans causes at a hastily tossed together “fundraiser” for veterans at Drake University during the debate.
But the donations actually go to Trump’s foundation, which doesn’t have a good record of donating to veterans groups or their causes.
Trump’s newly registered veteran donation site claims “100% of your donations will go directly to Veterans needs,” but the staff at the conservative Federalist put 1 and 1 together and they didn’t get 2.
“There’s only one problem: 100% of the money raised on the site goes directly to Donald Trump’s personal non-profit foundation, according to a disclosure listed at the bottom of the page,” The Federalist staff determined (wisely crediting “Federalist staff”, lest Donald Trump decide why not when he next ponders killing journalists like his pal Putin).
The Federalist’s digging revealed that this special donation site was set up by the people who did Donald Trump’s campaign domain and Trump’s foundation does not have a history of donating to veterans or their causes. In fact, they point out that Forbes found that barely 1% of Trump’s foundation’s donations went to organizations that support veterans.
From the Federalist:
Trump’s personal non-profit foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, does not have a history of donating much money to veterans or to veterans’ causes. According to a recent analysis of the organization’s spending history by the Weekly Standard, Trump’s non-profit donated more money to the Clinton Foundation than it did to veterans causes.
Noting that Trump’s foundation “gave only $57,000 to veterans groups”, the Federalist quoted from a 2015 analysis done by Forbes :
The Donald J. Trump Foundation has donated $5.5 million to 298 charities between 2009 and 2013 (the most recent year available), according to the non-profit’s 990 tax forms from those years. Of that, only $57,000 has been donated to seven organizations that directly benefit military veterans or their families, Forbes found. Wounded Warriors was not among the organizations Trump’s foundation gave to in that time period.
Forbes also found that Trump, who we estimate is worth $4.5 billion, has not made personal contributions to his foundation during the same time period. We reached out to his spokespeople for comment, but did not hear back before publishing.
If Donald Trump wants to raise money for veterans, why does it need to be funneled through his foundation and how can he possibly claim that 100% of that money is going to veterans, given the costs of running a foundation and the foundation’s track record with veterans issues.
The Trump campaign hasn’t even said which, if any, veterans groups it’s working with, though they mentioned the Wounded Warrior Project, but that organization has come under new scrutiny for potentially wasting 40% of all donated funds.
We have no way of knowing if the Trump foundation donates a dime of this money to veterans causes, and we won’t know until long after the election. Trump could have easily avoided this concern by linking directly to a credible veterans group. Instead, Trump is linking to his own foundation.
Conservatives are upset because they think the money is going to the Clinton foundation, still clinging to their feverish dreams that Donald Trump is a “secret Democrat” — with the platform of a hardcore conservative. That doesn’t make sense, unless Republicans are so far removed from what a political platform and votes actually mean that they don’t care about their candidate’s platform.
The bottom line is that this proves Trump’s conservative bonafides — running a scam on veterans is par for the course with conservative “heroes”.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.