Every day seems to bring us a new story of presumptive Republican nominee and Chris Christie’s dominant Donald Trump proving himself to be a broke-ass fraud.
The former reality TV star has claimed for over a year now that he is worth more than $10 billion and that he would have no problem self-funding his entire presidential campaign. Meanwhile, he’s refused to release his tax returns showing his income and revenue, and his campaign is practically broke. In an effort to calm the GOP’s nerves over his campaign’s financial health, the so-called billionaire has said that he’s forgiven the nearly $50 million in loans he’s made to his election effort. However, he has yet to file that paperwork with the FEC, leaving open the option of paying himself back with donations.
Beyond the questions over his ‘self-funding’ and lack of a real campaign finance structure, there’s also his self-aggrandizing over his charitable contributions. He made a HUGE deal over raising $6 million for vets earlier this year, including a personal donation of $1 million. Yet, months later, veteran charities only received about half of that money, and none of it was from Trump himself. He only wrote the check after the Washington Post and others hounded him about it.
Since that time, the Post’s David Fahrenthold has dug deeper into Trump’s philanthropy, and has found a guy who talks a big game, but who has only personally given less than $10,000 in the past seven years, and perhaps nothing since 2009. While his charitable group, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, does distribute money, he hasn’t given any of his own cash to it in eight years.
This brings us to our latest example of the fraud of Trump. Fahrenthold highlighted a story of The Donald bidding on a Tim Tebow-signed helmet and jersey at a fundraising auction in 2012. Trump won with a $12,000 bid. However, he didn’t pay with his own cash. Instead, he had his foundation pay the Susan G. Komen group for the memorabilia. (The breast cancer foundation told Fahrenthold they’ve never received any personal gifts or cash from Trump.)
Now, if Trump kept the helmet and jersey for his personal collection, or even gave it away to a friend, then this would be considered illegal under tax law, and Trump would have to pay a penalty to the IRS. However, based on the foundation’s 2012 tax returns, it stated that none of its officers broke that particular rule. But, what if Trump is still in possession of the stuff?
“That would be a classic violation of the prohibition on a charity being operated for the private inurement (benefit) of the charity’s creator,” wrote Brett G. Kappel, an expert on tax-exempt organizations at the Akerman law firm in Washington. The Trump Foundation does not appear to have offices of its own: it is headquartered at Trump’s business offices in New York, and has no full-time staff.
The best case for Trump, experts said, would be if he had given the helmet and jersey away to another charity, perhaps to be auctioned off at another fundraiser.
“If…the foundation paid for it, and they owned the helmet, and the helmet was given to someone as a charitable activity,” that would be enough, said John Edie, now retired, who was the longtime general counsel at the Council on Foundations.
Edie said Trump could not get off the hook by simply giving the memorabilia to a friend.
“Spending $12,000 for a helmet and then giving it to a golfing buddy is not” charity, Edie said.
I guess we should expect to see Trump give away this memorabilia to another charity any day now, claim he did this years ago, but forget to backdate the transaction. Of course, who the fuck wants a Tebow-signed helmet these days? While the Trumpster paid 12 grand for it in January 2012 — well, his foundation of other people’s money paid for it — the very same items go for about 400 bucks today.
Ya see, the same night the orange-hued braggart bid up on the helmet, Tebow was getting his ass handed to him in the playoffs by the New England Patriots, essentially killing off Tebowmania. Timmy would be traded to the New York Jets in the offseason and would never be a starter again, eventually washing out of the league.