Did Donald Trump violate IRS rules, by using a charity’s money to buy himself a signed football helmet?
Four years ago, at a charity fundraiser in Palm Beach, Donald Trump got into a bidding war at the evening’s live auction. The items up for sale: A Denver Broncos helmet, autographed by then-star quarterback Tim Tebow, and a Tebow jersey.
Trump won, eventually, with a bid of $12,000. Afterward, he posed with the helmet. His purchase made gossip-column news: a flourish of generosity, by a mogul with money to burn. “The Donald giveth, and The Donald payeth,” wrote the Palm Beach Daily News. “Blessed be the name of The Donald.”
But Trump didn’t actually pay with his own money.
Instead, the Susan G. Komen organization — the breast-cancer nonprofit that hosted the party — got a $12,000 payment from another nonprofit , the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
Trump himself sent no money. (In fact, a Komen spokesperson said, Trump has never given a personal gift of cash to the Komen organization.) He paid the bill with money from a charity he founded in 1987, but which is largely stocked with other people’s money. Trump is the foundation’s president. But, at the time of the auction, Trump had given none of his own money to the foundation for three years running.
I’m not sure what’s better, Trump’s scam or Trump going crazy to get that Tebow jersey and helmet. Too bad Tebow isn’t 35, he’d be Trump’s VP!