It comes to no surprise to anyone when another one of his lies is reported, but some of Donald Trump’s claims are false to such an extent that they catch people’s attention. After claiming in 2016 during his presidential run against Secretary Hillary Clinton, Trump claimed to have donated millions to charity in recent years, saying that the wealthy must give back to their communities to find fulfillment. It doesn’t appear, however, that Trump actually follows that principle.
New Tax Story: Donald Trump’s taxes show he didn't reach for his wallet for most of his charitable giving. The bulk of it came from donating land. His taxes also cast doubt on a number of charitable commitments he has boasted about. https://t.co/J6pWBIKZEE
— Susanne Craig (@susannecraig) October 23, 2020
The New York Times, who obtained copies of Trump’s tax returns, which show that he absolutely did claim $130 million in charitable donations over recent years, earning him a large tax write-off. However, very little of that money came from the president himself. Instead, it came from his businesses and include “donations” given through business deals.
According to The New York Times:
‘The long-hidden tax records, obtained by The New York Times, show that Mr. Trump did not have to reach into his wallet for most of that giving. The vast bulk of his charitable tax deductions, $119.3 million worth, came from simply agreeing not to develop land — in several cases, after he had shelved development plans.
‘Three of the agreements involved what are known as conservation easements — a maneuver, popular among wealthy Americans, that typically allows a landowner to keep a property’s title and receive a tax deduction equal to its appraised value. In the fourth land deal, Mr. Trump donated property for a state park.’
I wrote a lot of stories about @realdonaldtrump’s approach to charity.
But if you only want to read one, this is the one.
It starts at a benefit for orphans, where Trump (who’d donated nothing) stole a donors’ seat on the stage…https://t.co/x5gFWrCc4P
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) October 23, 2020
Trump has also reported numerous donations to charities since becoming president. Although he claimed that he has always been very charitable, a large portion of his donations came after he was voted president. And the cash out-of-pocket that Trump has donated haven’t come much from Trump’s personal funds.
‘Of the $7.5 million in business and personal cash contributions reported to the Internal Revenue Service since 2005, more than 40 percent — $3.2 million — came starting in 2015, when Mr. Trump’s philanthropy fell under scrutiny after he announced his White House bid. In 2017, his first year in office, he declared $1.9 million in cash gifts. In 2014, by contrast, he contributed $81,499.’
NOT TRUE : The Trump children are barred from a running charity.
TRUE: After getting caught stealing money from a children’s charity, they now have to take a class to learn not to steal money from a children’s charity should they want to run another children’s charity.
— Dana Gould (@danagould) October 23, 2020
The Trump family has a rocky history with charity, including their own Trump Foundation, which was closed down in 2019 when it was discovered that very little of the donations were sent to actual charities and mostly funded the family’s personal expenses, including paintings of Trump for his golf resorts.
‘The single largest cash donation he reported for his businesses, made to his own foundation, was the $400,000 he received in 2011 for being roasted on Comedy Central. In 2014, his Virginia winery contributed a glass sculpture valued at $73,600 to a small historical society in Pennsylvania. And in 2016, another one of his companies gave $30,000 to the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation.’