It’s easy to get caught up in impeachment, or the hastening ecological decline of our world, or the fact that the president posted more than 80 tweets before 9:30 this morning, including a suggestion to a teenage climate activist that she should “chill” and consider “Anger Management” classes.
But did you see the charity thing? You should see the charity thing. It was almost water under the bridge. Our politics have gone so far down the rabbit hole that a story about how the President of the United States agreed to pay $2 million at a court’s order—while admitting he used his charity for his own gain—barely made a splash. Folks saw the headline and thought to themselves, Well, yeah, of course Donald Trump ran a crooked charity. But really. Look at this.
As part of the settlement, the president paid eight charities a total of $2 million while admitting “he misused funds raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation to promote his presidential bid and pay off business debts, the New York State attorney general said on Tuesday.”
By the 2000s, the charity was largely holding other people’s money, which was donated to benefit philanthropic causes. Trump used some of this money to buy a $20,000 portrait of himself.
He also used the money to buy a $12,000 signed Tim Tebow helmet, which he kept for himself.
He spent more than a quarter of a million dollars of the charity’s money to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses. This is not legal.