Only five days until the election, and I am nowhere near finished with my list of amazing Donald Trump doings. What’s up for today? How about the remarkable operation of the Trump Foundation:
In 2007, Donald Trump bought a six-foot-tall portrait of himself at a fundraiser auction, and paid with $20,000 from his namesake charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
Now, at last, we can see what he got for his money.
On Tuesday, artist Michael Israel — the “speed painter” who painted the portrait of Trump — released the first public photos of the portrait. Israel painted the piece in just five or six frenetic minutes, during a charity gala at Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.
The painting was paid for by check, and the check came not from Trump but from Trump’s tax-exempt foundation. The problem is, tax-exempt foundations are not supposed to be used to reimburse (the painting) officials (Trump) of the foundations. The foundation money was money donated by others, and those donating the money had the expectation their donations would not be used to indemnify Mr. Trump personally.
David Fahrenthold, who wrote the item for The Washington Post, reports on other curious disbursements from the tax-exempt Trump Foundation.
In recent weeks, The Washington Post has reported other instances in which Trump may have violated those rules. He used $258,000 from the foundation to pay off legal settlements that involved his for-profit businesses. He spent $12,000 from the charity’s coffers to buy a football helmet signed by then-Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
And he spent $10,000 to buy another portrait of himself in 2014. In that case, Trump paid $10,000 for the portrait. It was later found hanging on the wall of a sports bar at Trump’s Doral golf resort. A spokesman for Trump, Boris Epshteyn, said later that Trump’s business was actually just “storing” the portrait, on the charity’s behalf. Tax experts said that does not cut it.
This is the same Donald Trump, out on the campaign trail, hissing about the notorious Clinton Foundation. An interesting note is the Clinton Foundation holds the highest rating from watchdog group Charity Navigator. Meanwhile, the New York Attorney General has ordered the Trump Foundation to cease raising funds in that state.
What is most amazing is that candidate Trump is polling near, even above, a candidate with real qualifications for the job. Full disclosure: it’s something I proclaimed over a year ago could never happen. I was wrong! How wrong I was is becoming clear. The fervent hope is that justice will shortly be served where it is long overdue.
Previously I aimed this series of posts at the comedy surrounding a narcissistic businessman vying for a job requiring real character. Now I’m leaving the high road, and I will be calling things as they are. As a reminder, self-obsessed billionaire Donald Trump earlier snatched the campaign torch from the Republican Party by scooping up conservative America’s low-hanging fruit.
Meanwhile, right on schedule, Donald Trump’s journey to self destruction continues, much as I predicted over a year ago. I post here the signature banner for this series:
A warning for those who chance to meet a wild Trump coming home late at night, past a graveyard, all alone in a storm: Don’t bump the Trump. [With apologies to Shel Silverstein.]
Enjoying my excursion into schadenfreude, I have this to say. Thank you, Mr. Trump. It’s the nicest thing anybody’s ever done for me.Thank you very, very, very much!
Yeah, it’s game on. We are going to have more fun between now and election day. We can be assured Donald Trump will never fail to entertain us.
Continue reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.