David Fahrenthold, a Washington Post reporter, has revealed all the things he learned in covering Donald Trump — from the lies he says he uncovered about Trump’s alleged charitable giving, to the death threat he received after Trump’s “grab ’em by the p****” tape fell in Fahrenthold’s lap. The Washington Post article was published 23 hours ago and has been shared on Facebook 18,354 times, as of this writing. From a hilarious recollection of shooting himself in the eye with his child’s glitter gun to scary death threats brought to David’s Washington Post office via a phone call that left Fahrenthold taking about car bombs in the wake of Trump’s Access Hollywood tape leak, David’s article is being praised as a must-read by folks on social media.
The Washington Post piece opens with a task Fahrenthold thought would be simple: Verifying that Trump had given away the “tens of millions” of dollars to charity that Trump claimed he’d given away. Instead, David witnessed Trump holding up an oversized check for $100,000 from “The Donald J. Trump Foundation” with the slogan “Make America Great Again” when Trump was in Waterloo, Iowa, cash raised from donors — not Trump’s money. Trump claimed to have raised $6 million with supposedly $1 million of Trump’s own money via a fundraiser — but David could only find $1.1 million that had been given away, much less than what Trump claimed to have raised, with no proof of the $1 million Trump claimed to have donated from Trump’s own money. Fahrenthold set out on a quest to find proof of Trump’s elaborate claims, as witnessed in tweets like the following from David’s official Twitter account.
In the end, David used Trump’s Twitter handle, @realdonaldtrump, as he sought proof of Trump’s donations to others. Fahrenthold eventually called more than 325 charities and discovered that the amounts Trump claimed to have given away differed from reality.
“Trump’s presidential campaign staff said his actual giving had been…’tens of millions’. The state’s records showed something else…that the Trump Foundation…had received only a total of $5.5 million from Trump since 1987. In each case, I called the charity and asked if it had ever received a donation from Trump… In the years between 2008 and 2015 – when Trump wasn’t giving money to the Trump Foundation – he didn’t seem to have given much to other people’s charities, either. The only gift I could find in that range was from 2009, when he was credited with giving less than $10,000 to the Police Athletic League of New York City.”
Fahrenthold wrote that Matthew Ladika, the CEO of HomeSafe, a charity for children in Florida, told him Trump donated $20,000 to buy a Michael Israel portrait of Donald Trump, purchased by Melania Trump. Trump used a Trump Foundation check to pay for the “speed painting.” Searching for the painting, David received Google’s “best guess for this image: Orange,” and the advice to “Google ‘Havi Art Trump,'” from a mysterious caller from Palm Beach.
Another caller wouldn’t be as charitable to David after the leaked tape with Billy Bush and Trump fell in Fahrenthold’s lap and he wrote an article about the video for the Washington Post. It was a piece that “became the most-read story of all time on The Post’s website,” wrote David, and sent the editors into a funny frenzy about what curse words were okay to include in the article. It also brought a death threat to Frahrenthold from a man who couldn’t pronounce David’s name.
“‘I wanna kill him,’ the caller said of me. ‘Thank you.’ The Post took this seriously. I met with the D.C. police and the FBI, and a security consultant the paper hired.”
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]