It seems these days every news outlet is talking about Donald Trump and his campaign to clinch the GOP presidential nomination. Recently Trump has come under fire after asserting he donates millions of dollars to charity with little proof of those claims. After admitting he tries to pay as little in taxes as he can, it isn't terribly surprising proof of Trump's charitable donations is elusive at best.
Believed to be the wealthiest American to ever run for president, Donald Trump claims he's donated $102 million over the last five years to various philanthropic and conservation organizations, but little proof has been given by Trump's campaign. Tax filings show Trump hasn't made charitable contributions to the Donald J. Trump foundation since 2008, when he gave $30,000. Grants are still given out from the contributions of others.
Trump's campaign spokesperson, Hope Hicks, provided part of a list of donations that seemed to match a list of gifts to the foundation from other donors. Could Donald be counting those contributions as his own?
Billionaires such as Michael Bloomberg, George Lucas, and Warren Buffett have given more to charities and pledged to give most of their wealth to charities during their lifetimes.
According to the Associated Press, the Donald J. Trump foundation receives its largest donations from NBC Universal, World Wrestling Entertainment, and sporting and entertainment event ticket-reseller Richard Ebers.
In an email responding to the AP's questions about how Donald tallies his philanthropy, Donald wrote, "I give to hundreds of charities and people in need of help. It is one of the things I most like doing and one of the great reasons to have made a lot of money."
Trump's campaign did not identify donations that Donald himself gave. It's possible he could be donating anonymously, but when has "the Donald" ever done anything anonymously? Trump's foundation was created in 1987 for the purpose of donating to charities, so that theory is a shaky one.
Trump has not released his tax records as some presidential candidates have. When he pressured President Barack Obama to release his birth certificate back in 2011, Donald promised he'd release his tax records if the president released his birth certificate. The president did release the document, but Trump never released his tax records.
In Donald Trump's biography posted on the Trump Organization's website, he was described as an "ardent philanthropist." The description has been removed.
Is Donald Trump really the philanthropist he claims to be, or is he deceiving the public?
[Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images]