I Was Hungry and You Gave Me A Free Round of Golf: Trump's Much-Vaunted Philanthropy Is A Profiteering Crock
Astoundingly, it seems Drumpf is an even more despicable scammer, grifter and all-round sorry specimen of a human being than previously disclosed. Along with reports that his Cruz-beleaguered campaign is now formulating an "evil" convention strategy - bribery, threats and lies - to get their needed delegates comes a still-and-all-kinda-shocking report from the Washington Post finding that the self-proclaimed "ardent philanthropist"'s so-called "charitable giving" of over $102 million over the last few years consists almost entirely of free giveaways of his own gold-plated crap, mostly rounds of golf, and other people's money, with virtually none of his own going anywhere except his own bloated pockets. Despite his long-rumored greed, he typically persists in blowhard boasting of his Mother-Theresa-like generosity on the campaign trail as "one of the things I most like doing, and one of the great reasons to have made a lot of money."
The WaPo investigation into an exhaustive list of Trump's charitable donations - 4,844 contributions filling 93 pages - found that not a single donation was of Trump's own money. Of the total 4,844 there were 2,900 free rounds of golf, 175 hotel stays, 165 meals, and 11 spa gift certificates, all at Trump-owned business and all of which he claimed tax credits for, even though they came from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which got no money from the Donald himself and is funded by third-party donors. Invariably the Foundation's gifts - whose value at charity auctions was often overstated by Trump accountants - turn out to be tied to Trump profits; for example, fundraisers for the American Cancer Society and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute were held - surprise! - at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. The largest donation listed - $158,000 - went to the charity of a guy who was suing him. The next egregious, most bizarre nugget is a $1,136.56 "donation" to the "Serena Williams Group" that was in fact a free plane ride to Williams along with a framed picture of herself....? WTF.
Unsurprisingly but still infuriatingly, it seems Drumpf's acts of mercy have always followed the same self-serving pattern. In the 1990s, reports The Daily Beast, he tried to build two golf courses north of New York City, was rebuffed, angrily put the land up for sale to developers vowing to make a fortune, didn't get a bite, and ended up getting millions in deductions for donating the land for a park while valuing it somewhere between 13 and 50 times what he paid for it. The park has since closed - budget cuts - but still bears his garish name, as obliged in the deal. Possibly along with one of their own organizations, Drumpf also ripped off wounded veterans, giving them a mere fraction of what he raised in their name in Iowa earlier this year. He even managed to skim some bucks from the 9/11 Memorial, a singularly scummy achievement even for him.
To date, odd silence from the Trump camp on the Post story, though somewhere in the depths of his gaudy man-cave he's likely still crowing about how the poors and the women and the Latinos and the blacks all love him, and who are those fact-loving losers anyway? On Twitter he's still ranting about Colorado delegate snafus - "This will not be allowed! Totally unfair! Bad system!" - and supposedly biased New York coverage: "We are the suckers - no more!" For different reasons - lies and greed and profiteering - we couldn't agree more. A new video from Peace House offers a patient argument to Trump supporters why they should, too.