I’m sure there are others but the Washington Post and Newsweek Magazine have been seriously digging into Donald Trump’s financial activities. In a major story Newsweek detailed Trump’s international business dealings and pointed out the tremendous risk of conflicts of interest if Trump were to win the White House.
Just this morning Newsweek’s featured article is an exposé of Trump’s highly illegal business involvement with Cuba in 1998. At that time it would have been illegal for any American to invest a single penny in the Cuban economy but one of Trump’s companies, with his knowledge, spent almost $70,000 trying to win influence in Castro’s islands and then hired a company to show them how to hide the illegal activity as a charitable donation.
The Washington Post has published several stories about how Trump’s foundation is used to channel monies from individuals and corporations that owe Trump, into his foundation. Such donations would actually represent income to Trump and therefore subject to income tax. Trump has not claimed it as income and thereby risk charges of tax evasion or fraud.
The Post has also outlined other ways Trump has used the foundation for personal advantage. He spent over a quarter million dollars of the charity’s money to settle legal claims against himself. He spent charity money on two portraits of himself that together came to nearly $35,000.
It is claimed that most of the money in the Trump Foundation has come from others who have been pressured to donate. That Trump himself hasn’t given his own money since 2008 but that he regularly uses foundation money for person uses and when money is give it is given as if it were a gift from Trump. The Post has only found one example in recent years where Trump had donated his own money to a charity.
During the now famous Clinton-Trump debate Trump came under fire for not revealing his tax returns. Clinton mentioned than on two occasions he had been forced to release them when applying for casino licenses. In both cases the records showed that Trump had paid zero federal income taxes. Trump’s only reaction to the news was to say, “I’m smart.” This is not the first time Trump has said avoiding taxes was good business.
There are so many reasons to not support Donald Trump. But those who do support him often cite his frankness and good business sense. Being frank also requires being honest and Trump has displayed just the opposite. Like nature abhors a vacuüm Trump abhors the truth. Regarding his business acumen, well how good a business mind does it take to six times use the bankruptcy laws to escape from under poor business decisions. And in doing so cost hundreds of individuals and small and medium businesses all they have. In one bankruptcy his investors lost billions while Trump bragged he came out of it with a $40 million profit.
These are not the characteristics we should base our support on for anyone running for the highest office in the land. And as the Post and Newsweek continue to dig into the muck and mire of Trumpland hopefully they’ll come upon that one nugget of coal that finally open America’s eyes to the egotistical madman that is Donald J. Trump.