An analysis of donations by the Trump Foundation and Trump himself shows how he was able to toss around cash in order to gain acceptance by key conservative groups. We all kinda suspected it, but now there’s evidence he just bought his way in.
Rebecca Berg at Real Clear Politics explains how the Palmetto Family Council got a cash infusion after being critical of Trump right before he announced his presidential campaign:
“It was a quiet donation that came with a simple cover letter,” Smith said. It read: “Great meeting with you and your wife in my office,” dated May 6, 2011. Enclosed was a check for $10,000 from the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
That check is one of at least several donations to suggest Trump used his private foundation, funded by outside donors, to launch and fuel his political ambitions. Such contributions, if they were made solely for Trump’s benefit, could violate federal self-dealing laws for private foundations.
They make it clear that there was no verbal “quid pro quo,” but the donations seemed to be aimed at winning over critics and gaining access to conservative events:
From 2011 through 2014, Trump harnessed his eponymous foundation to send at least $286,000 to influential conservative or policy groups, a RealClearPolitics review of the foundation’s tax filings found. In many cases, this flow of money corresponded to prime speaking slots or endorsements that aided Trump as he sought to recast himself as a plausible Republican candidate for president.
Wow. I didn’t realize we could be bought off so easily. And here I thought the conservative movement was worth more than that. Trump has already been dinged for other discrepancies, but this one shows how he laid the seeds for his presidential run by buying off people:
…RCP’s review of IRS filings by the Trump foundation turned up a fresh conflict: a 2013 donation of $10,000 to The Family Leader, a 501(c)(4) established to “develop, advocate and support legislative agenda at the state level.” Unlike a 501(c)(3), or a nonprofit organization, a 501(c)(4) can effect policy and engage in limited political activity, and thus is subject to greater restrictions on contributions from charities.
So the donation might have been illegal, but here’s what he got for it:
In the same year that Trump’s foundation made that $10,000 contribution, The Family Leader featured Trump as a marquee speaker for the first time at its influential leadership summit in Iowa. The announcement raised eyebrows: Craig Robinson, editor of the Iowa Republican blog, wrote that Trump was “an odd fit for a social conservative confab,” while the Family Leader was roundly criticized by other Iowa conservatives for including Trump in the program.
$100,000 will convince Franklin Graham that even Trump is a Christian!
“When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, ‘Well, this has got to be a joke,’” Graham told ABC News at the time. “But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, ‘You know, maybe the guy’s right.’”
Sometime in 2012, Trump used his foundation to send $100,000 to Graham’s association — one of the largest donations the foundation would make to any group that year.
Here’s how he got the support of CPAC and their chair, Matt Schlapp:
That same year, Trump used his foundation to donate $50,000 to the American Conservative Union Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the group that organizes CPAC and sets its program. He did not ask for a speaking slot in return, but he did not need to.
“Everyone’s too smart to say, ‘Donate and we’ll let you speak,’” said one source familiar with the donation. “It was kind of understood.”
The Schlapps are incredibly eager to lie for Trump and you’ll see them all over the cable news shows bravely beating down the truth in order to defend Trump’s alternate reality.
Yep he’s a genius:
Now mitt is attacking Reagan and trump https://t.co/O5xcxMQufj
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) June 10, 2016
Did you see Trump speak from any Citizens United event? There’s a reason why you might have:
But Trump’s greatest early political exposure might have come from Citizens United, a conservative political group whose president, David Bossie, met with Trump in 2011 about a potential presidential bid and remained a close ally. More recently, Bossie took leave from his group last month to join Trump’s campaign as deputy campaign manager.
… It might have helped that, in 2014, Trump’s foundation donated $100,000 to the Citizens United Foundation, by far its single largest donation to any group that year. RCP reached Bossie by phone Monday and offered him an opportunity to respond; Bossie said he would call back but did not and subsequently could not be reached for comment.
And these are just the donations that were reported!! Makes you wonder how else he bought off these supposed “principled” conservatives that might have been under the table…
The article at Real Clear Politics is more about the legality of these donations when they appear to help his personal political ambitions. But on the way there we get a picture of how we were all sold out for a dim-witted authoritarian orange-faced moron.