An alleged former employee of Charlie Kirk's Turning Point USA called into the Majority Report podcast recently and claimed that the Donald Trump-supporting conservative organization has a covert purpose.
"It's like a money laundering organization for Republican donors," he said during a YouTube clip of the exchange posted on Saturday.
"Right, cause I don't know if you know this but they're a 501(c)(3) which you know means that they are technically a tax-exempt educational charity. Which is f*cking ridiculous."The caller continued to claim that TPUSA is "like a tax shelter" with a "little bit" of public relations focused on Kirk. Elsewhere, he said the primary purpose of the organization is to "give the appearance of progress" so that Kirk can tell his donors that they are effectively turning young people to the conservative ideology.
Mashable reporter Matt Binder told the caller that he is the second insider from Turning Point USA who has told him the same story.
Sludge previously claimed that TPUSA "blurs the line" between its charity and pro-Trump political activities. As the publication noted, the Internal Revenue Code prohibits all section 501(c)(3) organizations from "directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign" on behalf of a candidate for public office, such as Trump. Notably, Kirk attacked various Democratic presidential candidates at an October 2019 TPUSA-sponsored conference, which the publication suggested was "pushing the boundaries of his organization's charitable nonprofit status."
Last year, a leaked memo from the fellow conservative youth organization Young America's Foundation warned students to stay away from TPUSA due to the coalition's purported lack of honesty, integrity, judgment, and experience. Former TPUSA employee Caleb Hull notably claimed that all of the information in the memo is true. In particular, he said that the organization regularly inflates its numbers to donors. Still, Hull argued that some of the group's activists do quality work.
The organization's dealings have come under scrutiny on multiple occasions. As reported by Sludge, in 2017 the organization accepted $50,000 from The GEO Group Foundation — the United State's largest private prison company. The year following the donations, former TPUSA communications director Candace Owens said that she visited a GEO Group ICE transitional facility in Broward County, Florida, which she praised after her tour.
"This place is nicer than where I went to the public school system," she said.
Sludge noted that Owens' claims were made amid reports of immigrant abuse at the hands of ICE employees.