Yet More Phony “Charity” From Donald Trump

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We already know that Donald Trump is a cheapskate whose unwillingness to help others is truly off the charts. We also know that he’s an epic blowhard who likes to pretend that he’s a brilliant businessman and generous philanthropist. What happens when you put those two things together?

Answer: You host a show in which you flamboyantly claim to personally donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity, but when the cameras are off you donate nothing. That’s what Trump did on Celebrity Apprentice, and his phony philanthropy became even more pronounced in 2012. But why?

After The Post’s close look at Trump’s promises­ on the show, a mystery remained: What happened in 2012 to make Trump so much more generous on the air?

In the tax records of the Trump Foundation — which Trump used to pay off most of those new promises — there is no record of a donation from Trump himself in 2012….But, in 2012, the Trump Foundation’s records show a large gift from NBC, the network that aired the show. That was more than enough to cover all the foundation’s gifts to “Celebrity Apprentice” contestants’ charities, both before 2012 and since.

….Did NBC give Trump’s foundation money, so that Trump could appear to be more generous on-camera? An NBC spokeswoman declined to comment.

Does Trump ever keep any of his promises? Magic 8-Ball says “Very doubtful.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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