This weekend, spending by a Lara Trump-connected dog rescue charity at Trump properties is slated to pass a total of $2 million, constituting yet another example of charity money getting steered in large quantities towards the financial benefit of Donald Trump. The charity is called Big Dog Ranch Rescue, and this weekend, it’s slated to spend some $225,000 on a fundraising event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where the former president has been staying since leaving office. That number is in addition to the estimated $1,883,160 that the charity has spent on fundraising events at Trump properties since 2014.
Since 2018, Lara Trump — wife of Eric Trump and daughter-in-law of the ex-president — has been presented as a chairwoman for the dog rescue group’s charity events. The Trump Foundation and Eric Trump Foundation previously faced scrutiny over similar connections — the Eric Trump Foundation, for instance, spent large sums at Trump family properties. Lara doesn’t appear to have been at least entirely personally responsible for the dog rescue group’s spending at Trump properties, however — the charity’s president, Lauren Simmons, is an apparent Trump ally and defended the spending in a statement to HuffPost.
‘The quality of service, beauty of the venue and excellent rate provided us as a nonprofit as well as the generosity of supporters who sell-out our event there every year allows us to rescue and home thousands of dogs. Our investment there and at the other venues mentioned in the article has netted more than $12 million over an eight-year period which allows us to continue our mission.’
Yes, but — the charity’s continued usage of Trump properties represents a continuing connection with a man, Donald Trump, who — among other travesties — incited the violent storming of the Capitol building in January, which led to many injuries among law enforcement personnel and multiple deaths. Simmons “did not respond to the question of why she was putting money into the pocket of someone who tried to overturn the results of an election he lost and whose incitement led to the deaths of three police officers and injuries to 140 more,” according to HuffPost.
Based on her social media activity, Simmons was, at least at one point, a supporter of the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was rigged for Joe Biden. The Capitol rioters used this conspiracy theory as an explicit pretense for their actions. Just a few days before the rioting, Simmons shared a post on Facebook insisting that “Either we TAKE power back or we will never be free again. No more asking nicely.”