Trump’s Chip-Shot Charity

Trump's Chip-Shot Charity
Reality TV star, celebrity golf cheat, and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump claims he made 4,844 charitable donations with a value of $102 million of the past 10 years, but little of that largesse involved gifts of his own personal money. Mr. Trump gave away free rounds of golf at courses he owns or runs and called it charity. Most of the actual cash given to the Donald J. Trump Foundation was donated by pro wrestling promoters ($5 million), a “sports marketing” group’s ticket scalper ($1.9 million), “Apprentice” producer NBCUniversal Media ($500,000), and Comedy Central, which produced a Trump “roast” ($400,000).

The largest Trump “donation” was a total of real estate easements valued at $63.8 million, agreements not to do certain types of building on particular parcels of land. That’s a pretty good way to defray failed development deals by taking tax deductions in the name of ecology. For the rest, the Washington Post estimated that Mr. Trump claimed charitable credit for about 2,900 free rounds of golf, 175 free hotel stays, 165 free meals and 11 gift certificates to spas over the past decade.

Actual cash was given to the Trump Foundation by others. Where did the money go? Despite Donald Trump’s grandstanding during his Fox debate boycott, he’s only given about $57K  to veteran’s groups. It’s difficult to account for the rest, but at least $100,000 went to the Clinton Foundation. Despite his former criticism of the Citizens United decision, Mr. Trump gave $100,000 to the Citizens United Foundation in 2010 as part of his conversion to conservatism.


“Missing from Trump’s list of charitable giving: His own personal cash,”  David A. Fahrenthold and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“Trump’s Charitable Donations Mostly Free Rounds of Golf, Other People’s Money,” Claire Landsbaum, New York Magazine


“Donald Trump: Only rich people should be allowed to play golf,” Kevin Manahan, NJ Advance Media for

“Donald Trump Doesn’t Think Poor People Or Children Should Be Playing Golf,” Steve Holt,


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Image:by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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