May 31, 2016.
Donald Trump released a list of veterans charities to which he directed $5.6 million in donations from a fundraiser he held in January as cover for his refusal to attend a debate among Republican presidential candidates. This was accompanied by a larger than usual portion of vitriol aimed at assembled reporters.
It is laughable that Trump claims to be angry that the press forced him to brag about the donations against his naturally self-effacing nature. The fact is that over half of the donations were only made after the press, in particular the Washington Post, pressed for details to show that the money raised had actually been passed along to the charities.
Included in the $5.6 million was a personal donation of $1 million Trump had promised to make personally at the time he was blustering about his failure to attend the debate in January. That donation was only made on May 24 after the pressure from the press, which so angered Trump.
One of the things that may be concealed in the tax returns Trump is so determined to conceal is that he personally does not donate much to charity. He has a foundation and shakes money from other people. That may be the entirety of his charity and even the donations from the foundation may be made to enhance other selfish interests of his.
It is certainly reasonable to infer that Trump would not have made the promised personal donation without repeated questions about it from the media. Given how long it took and his history of questionable business ethics, it may also be that he intended to divert some of the funds raised to cover campaign expenses. It all fits with what we have learned about Trump’s personality.
Mrs. Clinton’s response was equally telling. She pointed out that she has been much more generous than Trump in sending many more millions to Veterans groups. Trump at least donated $1 million of his own money, however reluctantly. It turns out that Clinton’s idea of generosity is sending government money. Like many politicians, Democrats in particular, her idea of generosity is giving our money.