N.Y. curbs Trump Foundation
Atty. Gen. halts fundraising, says approval needed
The New York attorney general disclosed Monday that it ordered Donald Trump’s personal charity to cease fundraising immediately after determining that the foundation was violating state law by soliciting donations without proper authorization.
The message was conveyed in a “notice of violation” sent Friday to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, of which Trump is president.
The night before, The Washington Post reported that Trump’s foundation — which has subsisted entirely on other people’s donations since 2008 — had failed to register with the state as a charity soliciting money.
Because of that, Trump’s foundation had avoided rigorous annual audits that New York state requires of charities that seek the public’s money. Those audits would have asked, among other things, if the foundation’s money had been used to benefit Trump or one of his businesses.
“The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York,” wrote James G. Sheehan, the head of the charities bureau in the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat.
In addition, Sheehan wrote, the Trump Founda- At a Monday rally in Colorado, Donald Trump responded to a New York Times report last weekend on his 1995 tax return. tion was ordered to supply the state with all the legal paperwork necessary to register as a charity that solicits money within 15 days.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks responded in a written statement: “While we remain very concerned about the political motives behind AG Schneiderman’s investigation, the Trump Foundation nevertheless intends to cooperate fully with the investigation. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, the Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.”
Schneiderman has endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump’s rival in the presidential race.
Last month, his office launched a broader probe of the Trump Foundation after stories in The Post identified cases in which Trump appeared to have used the charity’s money to buy portraits of himself and to settle lawsuits involving his forprofit businesses.
Legal experts said the move to suspend the Trump Foundation’s ability to raise money is a common reaction in cases in which a charity has solicited funds without authorization.
Also Monday, Trump launched an aggressive defense of a massive business loss in the 1990s that would have enabled him to skip paying federal income taxes for 18 years, while also wading into a new controversy by suggesting that soldiers and veterans with mental health problems are not strong and “can’t handle it.”
“When people come back from war and combat, and they see things that maybe a lot of folks in this room have seen many times over — and you’re strong and you can handle it — but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump said at a Monday morning town-hall event with veterans in northern Virginia.
Trump was speaking at an event organized by the Retired American Warriors political action committee Monday when he was asked about his commitment to f aith- based programs aimed at preventing suicides and helping troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other issues.
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a top Trump adviser, in a statement accused the media of taking the GOP nominee’s words out of context “to deceive voters and veterans.”
At an afternoon rally later in Colorado, the GOP presidential nominee responded to a New York Times report last weekend on his 1995 tax return showing a $916 million loss that would have allowed him to pay zero federal incomes taxes for 18 years.
Trump said he “brilliantly used” tax laws to his advantage and bounced back from the loss while others in his field fell flat in the 1990s. Trump said that he has a “fiduciary responsibility” to “pay as little tax as legally possible” — although these were his personal taxes — and that the political class should be blamed for creating a “complex” and “unfair” tax system.
Clinton f ocused on Trump’s 1995 tax return during a campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday afternoon, sharply criticizing him for losing money and pocketing tax savings while ordinary Americans pay their fair share.
“What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a single year?” Clinton asked a crowd, referring to arguments from Trump surrogates that the tax records proved Trump was a “genius.”