Charity begins, stays at home
The degree to which President Donald J. Trump has altered the standards of presidential norms and scrutiny was illustrated Thursday when a New York state court ordered the president to pay $2 million in damages after evidence showed, and he admitted, that the Donald J. Trump Foundation had been run for the benefit of Donald J. Trump.
Such a development — a president exposed as a charity scam operator — would do in just about anyone else in the position. But for Trump it was just another drop in an endless cascade of scandal.
Perhaps the most egregious revelation in the case, which was brought by the New York attorney general’s office, was that $2.8 million Trump raised for veterans during the Iowa campaign in 2016 instead went to help fund the Trump campaign. Other expenditures from the supposed charity included the $265,000 refurbishment of the fountain at the Trump Plaza Hotel in New York City, and a $10,000 portrait of Trump himself.
The case also revealed that Trump had not contributed any of his own money to the “charity” since 2008. Thus, he exploited others’ charitable instincts for his own gain. This profile in shamelessness shows that for Trump, charity begins and stays at home.