After media pressure in May, Donald Trump made good on a $1 million pledge to a veteran’s charity. Despite claims to the contrary, before May, the New York businessman’s donations amount to about $10,000 over the past seven years according to the Washington Post.
“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,” the Post article reads. “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 2015, Trump claimed that he had donated $102 million in cash and land to charity since 2010.
The Associated Press questioned Trump on this and claimed that his campaign did not provide the documentation to back up this claim.
“I give to hundreds of charities and people in need of help,” Trump said in an emailed response to questions from the AP about how he tallied his own philanthropy. “It is one of the things I most like doing and one of the great reasons to have made a lot of money.”
Trump has often made claims that money earned through his endeavors have gone to charity, such as the Trump Board game, The Apprentice or from deals he made with leaders such as Moammar Gaddafi.
However, the Washington Post found that the money would often go into Trump’s pocket first, and that there would be no record of a donation later.
Financial advisers working for Trump say that keeping their client’s donations a secret is done deliberately to avoid a “feeding frenzy”.
“We want to keep them private. We want to keep them quiet,” Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of Trump’s business, told The Post earlier this year. “He doesn’t want other charities to see it. Then it becomes like a feeding frenzy.”
Business Insider points out however, that other billionaires, like Warren Buffet, George Lucas and Michael Bloomberg have given away far larger percentages of their own fortunes to charity.
[The Washington Post] [Business Insider]