John Cassidy writes: The Washington Post’s David A. Fahrenthold is rightly getting a lot of attention for his stellar reporting on Donald Trump’s charitable giving, or the lack thereof. Fahrenthold and his colleagues have spent more than six months contacting hundreds of charities that Trump claims to have given money to through his family charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
“So far, the Post’s search has turned up little,” Fahrenthold and Danielle Rindler wrote in August. “Between 2008 and this May — when Trump made good on a pledge to give $1 million to a veterans’ group — its search has identified just one personal gift from Trump’s own pocket.” As Fahrenthold and Rosalind S. Helderman had already revealed, in April, many of the donations that Trump claimed to have made turned out to be gifts in kind from his businesses, such as free rounds of golf for charity auctions.
Fahrenthold’s latest revelation, which the Post published on Sunday, was that Trump has “found a way to give away somebody else’s money and claim the credit for himself.” Apparently, the Trump Foundation raises money from other charities, and from individuals with whom Trump has done business. Then it gives away the money with Trump’s name on the check. The last donation Trump made to his charity, Fahrenthold reported, came in 2008. Since then, nada.
Which brings us back to an interesting question: Is it possible that Trump is also paying nothing in income tax? A number of journalists and tax experts who have looked at Trump’s finances think it may well be. [Continue reading…]