Trump Dissolves Charitable Foundation (As Promised)
Fulfilling a promise he made in December 2016, NBC News reports that President Trump is in the process of dissolving his charitable foundation, which admitted last year that it violated federal rules on “self-dealing.”
As we noted in December, the foundation, which has been the subject of several controversies and investigations, was originally set up to give away the proceeds from Trump’s bestselling book, “The Art of the Deal.” As The Hill writes, the book’s co-writer, Tony Schwartz, told CBS News he has received $1.6 million in royalties, per a 50-50 split agreement with Trump. A Washington Post investigation in June found that Trump had personally given his foundation $2.8 million of the book’s proceeds over the past 15 years, and nothing since 2009.
The foundation itself has given more than $13 million to charity since it was founded, but only $4.9 million has come from Trump himself, according to the CBS report.
“I am very proud of the money that has been raised for many organizations in need, and I am also very proud of the fact that the Foundation has operated at essentially no cost for decades, with 100% of the money going to charity,” Trump said Saturday.
“But because I will be devoting so much time and energy to the Presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world, I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest,” he added.
“The Foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children,” Trump said in a statement.
“However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways,” he added.
NBC News reports that at the end of 2016, the foundation had assets of about $970,000, and in its previous tax filing in 2015, the foundation acknowledged violating a legal prohibition against a “self-dealing” rule barring nonprofit leaders from funneling their charity’s money to themselves, their businesses or their families.
New York’s attorney general ordered the foundation to stop soliciting contributions in October 2016.
And now, NBC News reports that according to newly filed documents, the foundation is is in the process of dissolving… just as President Trump had said he would.