Proof of Trump’s Charity Giving Elusive
Washington — Donald Trump, widely believed to be the wealthiest American ever to run for president, is nowhere among the ranks of the country’s most generous citizens, according to an Associated Press review of his financial records and other government filings.
Trump has said he donated $102 million worth of cash and land to philanthropic and conservation organizations over the past five years. But his campaign has provided little documentation for most of these contributions, and tax filings of the Donald J. Trump foundation show Trump has made no charitable contributions to his own namesake nonprofit since 2008. Without an endowment, the fund has continued to give grants only as a result of contributions from others. Even the $102 million would not impress the wealthy elite whom Trump counts as his peers. Billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, George Lucas and Warren Buffett have both given far more and pledged to donate most of their wealth to charity during their lifetimes.
It is possible that Trump has been donating money anonymously through avenues other than his foundation, whose tax records the AP reviewed. But pressed by the AP on the details of his contributions, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks provided a partial list of donations that appeared to correspond with the foundation’s gifts — indicating that Trump may be counting other people’s charitable giving as his own.
“I give to hundreds of charities and people in need of help,” Trump said in an emailed response to questions from the AP about how he tallied his own philanthropy. “It is one of the things I most like doing and one of the great reasons to have made a lot of money.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request that it identify donations that Trump himself gave. Trump has not released his own tax records even though some other presidential candidates have disclosed theirs. Such documents would likely provide a clearer picture of his giving.
Actual cash donations account for only around a tenth of the $102 million Trump says he has given in the last five years. Most of the total comes from land-related transactions.