Trump made international headlines after spending $120,000 to tour the renowned French winery Chateau Latour and have dinner with actress Selma Hayek at a charity auction for pop artist Madonna, hosted by Gucci. An aide told Buzzfeed that the controversial Republican candidate never went on that trip. The money for the bid came from the Donald Trump Foundation.
Throughout his campaign Trump has claimed publicly that he’s donated over $100 million to charities and has described himself as an "ardent philanthropist." Records show that he makes charitable donations in sums comparatively smaller than his boasts suggest. In 2001 he claimed that his roast on Comedy Central raised $1 million for charity, but Trump Foundation documents reveal report just one donation in the amount of $400,000 from the network.
It was revealed earlier this week that the blustery billionaire spent $258,000 in Trump Foundation monies to settle legal disputes; in the process possibly violating “self-dealing” laws that prohibit non-profit leaders from using foundation money for personal or professional benefit.
The Washington Post published an article Tuesday calling Trump’s charitable activities into question, but his campaign has denied any shady dealings.
Trump communications director Jason Miller responded to the allegations in a statement saying, "In typical Washington Post fashion, they’ve gotten their facts wrong. It is the Clinton Foundation that is set up to make sure the Clintons personally enrich themselves by selling access and trading political favors. The Trump Foundation has no paid board, no management fees, no rent or overhead, and no family members on its payroll."
Miller asserted that Trump’s financial dealings were legitimate and on record. "There was not, and could not be, any intent or motive for the Trump Foundation to make improper payments. All contributions are reported to the IRS, and all Foundation donations are publicly disclosed."