Politics

Report: Trump Took 9/11 Funds Meant For Small Businesses

| by Michael Allen
Donald TrumpDonald Trump

Republican presidential candidate and billionaire Donald Trump reportedly received $150,000 in taxpayer funds that were supposed to help small businesses in New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attack.

According to the New York Daily News, Trump got the six-figure amount for The Trump Building because a state-run organization failed to enforce small business guidelines and used looser regulations that allowed Trump -- along with other wealthy people and big companies, such as Morgan Stanley and Bank of China -- to get the 9/11 money that was set aside by Congress to help mom and pop shops.

"A billionaire taking money meant for struggling small businesses after September 11th is not 'New York values,'" Catherine McVay Hughes, a community organizer who worked with grassroots organizations to help rebuild the area, told the newspaper.

An anti-Trump super PAC, #NeverTrump, brought up the 9/11 money in April, prompting Trump to tell TIME:

It was probably a reimbursement for the fact that I allowed people, for many months, to stay in the building, use the building and store things in the building.

I was happy to do it and to this day I am still being thanked for the many people I helped. The value of what I did was far greater than the money talked about, much of which was sent automatically to building owners in the area.

In more Trump news, the Washington Post reports that the GOP candidate donated $1 million to a veteran's charity May 23, something that he promised to do during a televised fundraiser he held in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 28.

Trump held the fundraiser instead of attending a Republican debate, and said at the time, "Donald Trump gave $1 million," notes the Washington Post. Trump's campaign said as recently as last week that the reality TV star had donated the money, but he had not.

Trump called James K. Kallstrom, who heads the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, May 23 and told Kallstrom that $1 million was going to the organization, according to Kallstrom’s wife, Sue, who couldn't confirm if the money had actually been transferred to the charity yet.

When asked why he waited about four months to make his donation, Trump said May 24: "You have a lot of vetting to do."

However, the Washington Post noted that the Donald J. Trump Foundation had previously donated more than $230,000 to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.

Trump was also asked about the other contributors to his fundraiser, and he said, "For the most part, I think they all came through. Some of them came through very late."

Trump added that he never said his fundraiser had raised $6 million, but Trump reportedly told the crowd at the event in January: "We just cracked $6 million! Right? $6 million."

Trump countered; "Well, I don’t, I don’t have the notes. I don’t have the tape of it. Play [the tape of the quote] for me. Because I’d like to hear it."

The Washington Post reports that before a tape from the fundraiser could be played for him, Trump "moved on."

Sources: New York Daily News, TIME, Washington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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