Politics

Trump Donated Big Money To Religious Right Groups

| by Michael Allen
Donald TrumpDonald Trump

Evangelist Franklin Graham urged Christians on Oct. 3 to think about taxpayer-funded sex change procedures and not the $916 million dollar tax break that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly got in 1995.

On the surface that may seem like an odd request, but Real Clear Politics reported on Oct. 4 that Trump directed the Donald J. Trump Foundation to donate $100,000 to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 2012, headed by Franklin, and gave more money to other Christian groups via the foundation.

As its source, Real Clear Politics cites the Trump Foundation's tax records.

South Carolina conservative activist Oran Smith, president of the Palmetto Family Council, said he received a check on May 6, 2011 for $10,000 from the Trump Foundation after meeting with Trump.

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The Trump Foundation also made a $10,000 donation to The Family Leader, a Christian organization in Iowa, in 2013.

Bob Vander Plaats, the The Family Leader president and CEO, told Real Clear Politics in June 2013 that Trump "sure would be" a potentially serious presidential candidate in 2016.

"I think the best predictor of the future is to look at the past, and he’s been a pretty successful guy, so I wouldn’t count him out," Vander Plaats added.

The Trump Foundation donated $10,000 to The Family Leader's nonprofit arm in 2014.

In 2013, the Trump Foundation donated $50,000 to the American Conservative Union Foundation, a nonprofit that sponsors the Conservative Political Action Conference, which invited Trump to speak in 2013.

"Everyone’s too smart to say, 'Donate and we’ll let you speak,'" an unidentified source told RealClearPolitics. "It was kind of understood."

The Trump Foundation opened its wallet again in 2014 and donated $100,000 to Citizens United Foundation, a conservative political group that hosted three summits for would-be Republican candidates in 2014 and 2015; Trump appeared at the New Hampshire and South Carolina summits.

Citizens United Foundation president David Bossie took leave time from the organization in September 2016 to work as a deputy campaign manager for Trump.

Several people in the Trump campaign, including Bossie, would not comment to Real Clear Politics regarding the donations.

CNN reported in September that the Trump Foundation's tax records show that Trump himself has not donated to the Trump Foundation since 2008, which means the donations to religious and conservative groups, possibly for political reasons, are likely being funded by donors to the foundation.

Sources; Real Clear Politics, CNN / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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