When you think of the word “charity” what do you picture? The little old man dressed as Santa ringing a bell outside the local supermarket? The people on the sidewalks that are waving pictures of baby Manatee’s and asking for a signature and a donation? Or do you picture Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?
It is no secret that both candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have spent millions of dollars from their charities to finance their campaigns. Yet, are they doing it legally?
“Self-Dealing” is a term that classifies the use of charity money to benefit the nonprofit leaders personally or their businesses. “Self-Dealing” is illegal.
I’m not a lawyer and I’m not saying that either charity is breaking the “self-dealing” rule. What I am saying is that both charities have had some discrepancies.
The first red flag from the Trump Foundation came when the charity donated $25,000 to the Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. This donation caused Donald Trump to be fined $2,500 by the IRS. Apparently, Trump was unaware that charities are not allowed to make campaign donations.
The second eyebrow-raising circumstance was when Donald Trump spent $20,000 of his charities money to buy a 6-foot-tall portrait. What was the portrait of that would make it worth $20,000? Of himself. That’s right. Trump spent $20,000 on a six-foot-tall portrait of himself using his charities money. Check out the story here. Yet, the thing that makes this story so interesting, besides the obvious, is that the majority of the money tied into the Trump Foundation comes from other people not from Trump.
The last story that pushes the ‘self-dealing’ boundary, is the almost quarter of a million dollars that Trump used to settle lawsuits. Of course, that quarter of a million dollars came from the Trump Foundation, not from himself.
All of these facts were published in the Washington Post. The Donald Trump Administration, of course, quickly came back with a rebuttal towards the “accusations.”
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“In typical Washington Post fashion, they’ve gotten their facts wrong,” the campaign said in a statement. “It is the Clinton Foundation that is set up to make sure the Clintons personally enrich themselves by selling access and trading political favors. The Trump Foundation has no paid board, no management fees, no rent or overhead, and no family members on its payroll. There was not, and could not be, any intent or motive for the Trump Foundation to make improper payments. All contributions are reported to the IRS, and all Foundation donations are publicly disclosed. Mr. Trump is generous both with his money and with his time. He has provided millions of dollars to fund his Foundation and a multitude of other charitable causes. The Post’s reporting is peppered with inaccuracies and omissions from a biased reporter who is clearly intent on distracting attention away from the corrupt Clinton Foundation.”
They failed to point out exactly which “accusations” were false. Yet, they did call out and blame the Clinton Foundation. So with that, let’s move on to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary tends to be a little more private than Donald, so her spendings are a little obscure than her opponents. However, in the month of August, she raised $59.5 million dollars. Yet, the only known expenditures add up to roughly $49.6 million, that leaves roughly $9 million dollars left over. Where is the remainder going? Throwing all the other conspiracy theories out the window $9 million can go a long way.
We now know that Hillary was charging people to meet with her as the head of the State Department. We know that virtually none of the money given to her “charity” has actually been distributed to the needy. It is also highly rumored, that she uses her charity to “launder” extra campaign contributions through.
Then you have to put into account that the Clinton campaign team is spending roughly $131 million dollars in the last nine battleground states against Trump. Yet, she only raised $59.5 million in August? Where is all the extra money coming from?
The positive aspect of Donald Trump is that, as his campaign team said, “…all Foundation donations are publicly disclosed.” He may be bending the rules but at least he is being open about it. Hillary has millions of dollars that are unreported and it raises some questions.