The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold published yet another explosive report revealing Trump’s lack of charitable giving, despite his history of making dramatic public promises of donations, and detailing Trump’s misuse of his foundation. Hillary Clinton highlighted the new report in her remarks today at Wilton Manors, saying it was “truly stunning.”
Washington Post: “For as long as he has been rich and famous, Donald Trump has also wanted people to believe he is generous … It was, in large part, a facade. A months-long investigation by The Washington Post has not been able to verify many of Trump’s boasts about his philanthropy.”
Slate: “The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold has spent months going through records and talking to people to try to figure out whether Donald Trump is really as charitable as he claims to be. At this point in the campaign, it should surprise no one that the answer is no... Although Trump, particularly through his foundation, did give some money to charity over the years, much of it was self-serving and the dollar amounts of his contributions were often much less than what he made it seem.”
Today in Wilton Manors, Hillary Clinton highlights Trump’s “charitable giving, or lack thereof.”
“But yesterday the Washington Post published a report that was truly stunning. It starts with the story of a ribbon-cutting back in 1996 for a nursery school serving children living with HIV and AIDS in New York. Now, let me say, this is important in part to remember. This is a story about children with HIV and AIDS. So there was a big celebration honoring the donors who had supported the nursery school, and all the kids and their families, for whom this was the most important thing you can imagine. Because you know, back in the ‘90s, some of you remember. Right? Children weren’t welcomed in school.
And then, unannounced and uninvited, guess who barges in? Donald Trump. He walks right up to the stage. He sat down in the seat that was being saved for a local developer who had made a generous donation. None of the people working for the charity knew why he was there. He wasn’t a donor at all. He had never given a single dollar to help build the school. He just wanted people to think he had. So he sat on the stage through the program, even posed for photographs, and when it was over, he got up and walked out. No explanation. No donation. Now really, who does that? What kind of person does that? Really? I mean, who pretends to help kids with HIV and AIDS in order to make themselves look good? Well, I’ll tell you: The same kind of person who would pull a bait and switch on a high school chess team.
Back in 1997, he was principal for a day at a public school. That was a program we used to have in New York. The chess team was holding a bake sale to raise money to travel to a tournament. They were $5,000 short. He walked up to them and handed them a fake million dollar bill. At first the kids and their parents were excited. Then they were devastated to learn it was a joke. So he gave them 200 bucks and drove away in his limousine. Now, this story does have a happy ending because a woman read the story about Donald Trump’s behavior, called the school, and donated the $5,000. And the coach remembers this woman saying, “I am ashamed to be the same species as this man.”
Just this morning, Kellyanne Conway was pressed on Trump’s false philanthropy and was unable to provide any evidence that Fahrenthold’s reporting was anything other than spot-on.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Tim Kaine mentioned a big story in the Washington Post that found Donald Trump’s personal giving has disappeared entirely in recent years after calling 420 plus charities with connection to trump. The post found one personal gift between 2008 and the spring of 2009. They call into question all of the promises he’s made about giving to charity. Will Trump release his tax returns and show what he’s given?
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Not until our accountants and lawyers say we should.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Any contributions to charity over the last several years from the foundation? The Post couldn’t find any and you wouldn’t respond.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: I’m told by those in charge of the Clinton Foundation —
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Trump Foundation.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Excuse me, yes, George. He’s been incredibly generous with his time and money over the years. He started that foundation with just his money and the only contributor for a number of years.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But nothing over the last five years.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: I don’t know that.