Did Trump Use His Foundation to Fuel His Presidential Bid?
Policy + Politics

Did Trump Use His Foundation to Fuel His Presidential Bid?

REUTERS/Mike Segar

A new poll from Morning Consult shows that voters seem more disturbed by alleged shenanigans at the Donald J. Trump Foundation — detailed in a series of revelations in The Washington Post — than they are by stories about the Clinton Foundation’s cozy ties with the Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

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Fewer than 24 percent of registered voters polled said they had a favorable view of Trump’s charity, Morning Consult found in a survey taken before the New York Attorney General yesterday ordered the foundation to stop accepting donations from outside sources.

The “cease and desist” order from the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the foundation was acting illegally by soliciting money because it failed “to register with the Charities Bureau and to provide annual financial reports and annual audited financial statements.”

Today, a story on the website Real Clear Politics says that Trump may also have broken federal election laws by using charitable donations to his foundation — to which he reportedly has not contributed his own money since 2008 — to power his bid for the presidency.

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RCP examined the filings of the foundation and found that from 2011 through 2014, the Trump Foundation made donations totaling $286,000 to conservative groups as he sought to ingratiate himself with the right wing of the Republican Party and “recast himself as a plausible Republican candidate for president.”

Among more than a half-dozen instances of questionable donations by the foundation, RCP cites one for $100,000 made in 2014 to the conservative group Citizens United. Trump was invited to a Citizens United “summit” that year (and two more in 2015) that allowed conservatives to assess aspiring Republican presidential candidates. Citizens United’s then president David Bossie is now deputy manager of the Trump campaign.