Donald Trump Under Fire For Allegedly Skimming Money From Dog Rescue Charity

Donald Trump speaks at a political rally.
Gettyimages | Tasos Katopodis
US Politics

Donald Trump is coming under fire after reports indicated that he and his company took in millions of dollars in profit from a charity organization that rescues dogs.

As The Huffington Post reported, the charity with ties to his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, spent just under $2 million at the former president's properties over the last seven years, raising concern that the money meant to help animals was ended up in his pocket instead. It has also revived longstanding criticism of his controversial ties to charities.

Trump Profits From The Charity

Donald Trump speaks at the White House.
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As the report noted, the Big Dog Ranch Rescue has spent as much as $1.9 million at Trump-owned properties and just filed a permit with the town of Palm Beach, Florida, to spend another $225,000 at the Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend. 

"All the profit from that spending winds up in his pocket," the report noted.

The outlet added that the Big Dog Ranch Rescue had initially distanced itself from Trump after his comments in 2017 praising white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, but ended up returning the next year to hold a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago.

Lara Trump's Political Ambitions

Lara Trump speaks at a political rally.
Gettyimages | Chip Somodevilla

The charity event held this weekend also made other headlines. At the event, the former president made an unexpected stop-in and dropped a big announcement about his daughter-in-law's political ambitions. Many had pegged Lara Trump as a potential U.S. Senate candidate in North Carolina, and her father-in-law seemed to confirm it.

"I don't know, you're running for the Senate. I hear she's going to run for the Senate!" he said (via The Daily Mail) as the crowd broke into cheers and applause.

Trump Faces Backlash

Donald Trump in a meeting at the White House.
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The reports of the charity's spending led to some backlash, both for the former president and his daughter-in-law. As Raw Story reported, many took to social media to share their disgust at what they saw as skimming money meant to help animals. There were no indications that the spending was improper, however.

Trump and his family members have a controversial history with charitable efforts, with previous accusations that they used these efforts as a way to further their own personal wealth.  

Trump's Charity History

Donald Trump speaks at CPAC.
Gettyimages | Joe Raedle

The former president has gotten into trouble with charitable efforts in the past. As The Associated Press reported, a New York court forced him to pay a $2 million fine for misusing the Trump Foundation in order to help his own business interests and his 2016 presidential campaign.

“Charities are not a means to an end, which is why these damages speak to the president’s abuse of power and represent a victory for not-for-profits that follow the law,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement at the time, noting that the remaining money from his foundation was split up between "eight credible charities.”