After admitting last year that some of the funds from the Donald J. Trump Foundation went to Trump himself, or other non-charitable causes, the organization is finally shutting down.
As NBC News reported, “The move fulfills a promise Trump made last December, when he said he would wind down the Donald J. Trump Foundation to avoid conflicts of interest.”
More from the report:
In a statement, a spokesperson for the foundation confirmed that it is being shuttered. “The Foundation continues to cooperate with the New York Attorney General’s Charities Division, and as previously announced by the President, his advisers are working with the Charities Division to wind up the affairs of the Foundation. The Foundation looks forward to distributing its remaining assets at the earliest possible time to aid numerous worthy charitable organizations.”
In its previous tax filing in 2015, the foundation acknowledged violating a legal prohibition against a “self-dealing” that bars nonprofit leaders from funneling their charity’s money to themselves, their businesses or their families.
In one section of the 2015 form, as The Washington Post first reported, the IRS asked whether the Trump Foundation had transferred “income or assets to a disqualified person.” A disqualified person could be Trump — the foundation’s president — or a member of his family or a Trump-owned business, The Post reported.
While Trump and his allies will likely spin the foundation’s closing as a promise kept, it’s important to remember that it’s only being shut down because it was exposed as a complete sham organization.
Not only did the “charitable” foundation not do a whole lot of charity work, but Trump frequently used it to enrich himself, his family members, and his businesses.
As Vox pointed out last year: “At times the level of self-dealing becomes downright comical. It spent $20,000 on a portrait of Donald Trump, for example, and $12,000 on buying Trump an autographed Tim Tebow helmet. When Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club racked up $120,000 in fines from the town of Palm Beach, Florida for violating a local ordinance regarding the height of flagpoles, Trump eventually settled the dispute by agreeing to a $100,000 donation to a veterans’ charity — and then had his foundation rather than the club pay the tab.”
While Trump and his supporters often take shots at the “corrupt” Clinton Foundation, which has helped millions of people around the globe and gets stellar ratings from independent watchdog organizations, the real scam is what the now-president has been doing with his own charitable organization.
At the end of the day, the Donald J. Trump Foundation may have technically been a charity group, but the cause, Donald Trump, was hardly a worthy one.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.