Newly unearthed financial documents show how charity money raised by the Eric Trump Foundation intended for children’s cancer treatment was funneled back into President Donald Trump’s own businesses.
In a detailed report at Forbes, Dan Alexander reveals that the Eric Trump Foundation redirected money raised through its annual charity golf tournament back into Trump’s own businesses.
Even though Eric Trump had originally set up the golf tournament so that all money raised would go directly to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, sources tell Forbes that the elder Trump grew furious that his younger son let his foundation’s charity use the Trump National Golf Course for free.
“In the early years, they weren’t being billed [for the club]–the bills would just disappear,” Ian Gillule, who used to serve as membership and marketing director at Trump National Westchester explains to Forbes. “Mr. Trump had a cow. He flipped. He was like, ‘We’re donating all of this stuff, and there’s no paper trail? No credit?’ And he went nuts. He said, ‘I don’t care if it’s my son or not — everybody gets billed.'”
Because of this, the Eric Trump Foundation had to start paying its own way to hold its annual golf tournament on Trump properties.
Things got really interesting, however, when the Donald J. Trump Foundation made a $100,000 donation to Eric’s foundation to help offset the costs of paying to use the golf course for its annual charity event.
However, Forbes has found that this $100,000 “passed through the Eric Trump Foundation–and wound up in the coffers of Donald Trump’s private businesses.”
Another interesting development is that the costs for hosting the golf tournament have exploded in recent years, going from a mere $59,000 in 2012 to a whopping $322,000 in 2015, the most recent year on record.
“Even if the Eric Trump Foundation had to pay the full rate for literally everything, Forbes couldn’t come up with a plausible path to $322,000 given the parameters of the annual event (a golf outing for about 200 and dinner for perhaps 400 more),” Alexander writes. “Neither could golf tournament experts or the former head golf professional at Trump National Westchester.”
In total, Forbes found that “the Trump Organization received payments for [Trump National’s] use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization.”
Despite this, Eric Trump still claims that all the money raised for the tournament goes directly to St. Jude Children’s.
“We get to use our assets 100% free of charge,” he tells Forbes.