David Fahrenthold Quotes
Total quotes (7)
Total quotes (7)
Instead, The Post found that his personal giving has almost disappeared entirely in recent years. After calling 420-plus charities with some connection to Trump, The Post found only one personal gift from Trump between 2008 and the spring of this year. That was a gift to the Police Athletic League of New York City, in 2009. It was worth less than $10,000.
New findings, for instance, show that the Trump Foundation’s largest-ever gift — $264,631 — was used to renovate a fountain outside the windows of Trump’s Plaza Hotel.
Its smallest-ever gift, for $7, was paid to the Boy Scouts in 1989, at a time when it cost $7 to register a new Scout. Trump’s oldest son was 11 at the time. Trump did not respond to a question about whether the money was paid to register him.
At other times, Trump used his foundation’s funds to settle legal disputes involving Trump’s for-profit companies and to buy two large portraits of himself, including one that wound up hanging on the wall of the sports bar at a Trump-owned golf resort. Those purchases raised questions about whether Trump had violated laws against ‘self-dealing’ by charity leaders.
In the fall of 1996, a charity called the Association to Benefit Children held a ribbon-cutting in Manhattan for a new nursery school serving children with AIDS. The bold-faced names took seats up front.
Then, all of a sudden, there was Donald Trump.
‘Nobody knew he was coming,’ said Abigail Disney, another donor sitting on the dais. ‘There’s this kind of ruckus at the door, and I don’t know what was going on, and in comes Donald Trump. [He] just gets up on the podium and sits down.’
Trump was not a major donor. He was not a donor, period. He’d never given a dollar to the nursery or the Association to Benefit Children, according to Gretchen Buchenholz, the charity’s executive director then and now.
But now he was sitting in Fisher’s seat, next to Giuliani.
‘Frank Gifford turned to me and said, ‘Why is he here?’ ’ Buchenholz recalled recently. By then, the ceremony had begun. There was nothing to do.
‘Just sing past it,’ she recalled Gifford telling her.
So they warbled into the first song on the program, ‘This Little Light of Mine,’ alongside Trump and a chorus of children — with a photographer snapping photos, and Trump looking for all the world like an honored donor to the cause.
Afterward, Disney and Buchenholz recalled, Trump left without offering an explanation. Or a donation. Fisher was stuck in the audience. The charity spent months trying to repair its relationship with him.
‘I mean, what’s wrong with you, man?’ Disney recalled thinking of Trump, when it was over.
For as long as he has been rich and famous, Donald Trump has also wanted people to believe he is generous. He spent years constructing an image as a philanthropist by appearing at charity events and by making very public — even nationally televised — promises to give his own money away.
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.
Trump promised to give away the proceeds of Trump University. He promised to donate the salary he earned from ‘The Apprentice.’ He promised to give personal donations to the charities chosen by contestants on ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ He promised to donate $250,000 to a charity helping Israeli soldiers and veterans.
Together, those pledges would have increased Trump’s lifetime giving by millions of dollars. But The Post has been unable to verify that he followed through on any of them.