Donald Trump’s record of charitable giving is spotty. As of August 2015, he hadn’t donated to his own foundation—which is 3,000 times smaller than fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s foundation—since 2008. Asked by the AP if Trump had personally given money to other charities in that time, a Trump spokeswoman responded with a list of donations that appeared to be gifts that the foundation had made—and since Trump hadn’t given to the foundation, his spokeswoman was in other words apparently trying to pass off gifts made with other people’s money as Trump’s own.
In January, though, Trump skipped a Fox News–hosted debate to hold an Iowa fundraiser/rally for veterans’ groups, subsequently announcing that he’d brought in $6 million, which included $1 million of his own money, for the troops. On Thursday, a Weekly Standard reporter named Michael Warren tried to find out how much of that money has actually been distributed. And the answer is that Trump’s campaign won’t say.
From the Standard:
On Thursday, I contacted the Donald J. Trump Foundation by email with a few questions about how the $6 million had been or was being disbursed. Five minutes later, I received a phone call from Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s presidential campaign manager. Lewandowski said a list of the recipients had been made public and that more recipients were being added all the time. How much had those recipients received? Lewandowski couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say. As a non-profit organization, he said, the Trump Foundation would release all the required details of its disbursements at the end of the fiscal year. To find out before then, he said, I’d have to contact the recipients themselves.
Warren says he then made inquiries with the 22 charities that Trump has said the $6 million will go to. Of those, 13 haven’t responded to him yet. Four said they’ve gotten donations of $100,000. One says it’s gotten $50,000 from a non-Trump donor that it understands was given on Trump’s behalf. And one said it’s gotten a donation but wouldn’t say for how much. That’s a total of $450,000 in known donations plus one for an unknown amount. Which is a lot less than $6 million, although maybe Warren will find out that more was given out when he hears from the other groups. I’ll update this post if that’s the case.