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Investigations into Donald Trump’s alleged charity donations show that the has a pattern of breaking promises.

According to a recent Mother Jones report, that’s just what Trump did to the city of Gary, Indiana in 1993.

Trump wanted to open a riverboat casino, but the city wasn’t receptive. What did Trump do? What he usually does in order to get a green light for his sketchy business ventures — he vowed to donate millions of dollars to local charities.

Charles Hughes, who was on the Gary city council during negotiations with Trump, said Trump “promised everything.”

“He was going to build these magnificent edifices in Gary. He was going to build giant hotels, he was going to hire all these people. He was going to change our world, until it came time to put it in writing.” Hughes told Mother Jones.

After Gary officials recommended the state award licenses to other applicants, Trump proposed allocating a 7.5 percent of the company in a foundation that would donate money to Indiana charities. A group of eight investors handpicked by Trump, who also would receive 7.5 interest, would be the trustees and administrators.

Trump’s camp estimated that this arrangement would provide about $11.5 million for the foundation. By December 1994, Trump had gotten the Gary gaming license.

Almost immediately, Trump broke his agreement with the investors. One of them, lawyer Buddy Yosha, said that after Trump won the casino license, his lawyers told investors that nothing promised in the negotiations was legally binding, because “everything had been oral.”

The investors sued Trump in 1996 for breach of contract. Against allegations that he never settles a case, Trump’s company, Trump Indiana, settled with four of the plaintiffs for more than $1.4 million, and two other plaintiffs later received more than $800,000 combined.

Yosha and another investor, William Mays, refused to settle and took the case to trial. The jury found that Trump’s firm breached the contract with Mays and Yosha to create a charitable foundation. However, the judge decided that Trump did not have to put the promised 7.5 percent of the riverboat ownership into a charitable foundation because… surprise! He had created a different charity. Mother Jones reports:

Unbeknown to Mays or Yosha, Trump, before dumping them and the other investors, had cut a deal with the new mayor of Gary, Scott King, who had been elected in November 1995, the first white person to hold the job in nearly three decades. As part of Trump Indiana’s casino license, his firm was required to have a development agreement with the city of Gary. During negotiations with the city, Trump’s lawyers persuaded the mayor to support the creation of a different foundation. This nonprofit would not be controlled by local investors. Rather, Trump himself would be president, and the other directors would be New Jersey-based employees of his firm. The mayor would be a trustee.

This foundation would not be funded by transferring valuable shares in the riverboat. Instead, Trump Indiana would give it an initial $1 million, followed by $100,000 annual donations. This money would fund a handful of $5,000 scholarships to Gary high school graduates every year.

But according to its most recent available tax filings, from 2012-2014, the foundation had donated no money to the city of Gary, Indiana.

 

Lying about charity donations must be a family thing: Eric Trump called the Washington Post last week in an attempt to defend his father’s claims that he’s so charitable. The younger Trump said his father had personally donated “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to his charity, the Eric Trump Foundation. A few days later, when reached by the Post to elaborate on this statement, he couldn’t name a single time when his father had given a personal gift donation to the charity.

“I’m sure there have been but without going back through 10 years, I wouldn’t remember check for check off the top of my head,” the younger Trump told the Washington Post in an email.

When pushed further about why he would say his father had given hundreds of dollars to his charity but now can’t mention any instance when this happened, he said he was too busy. “I have a lot going on — I just don’t have the time. Good luck with the story,” he wrote in another email.

The Post has been investigating Donald Trump’s allegations that he has given countless donations privately over the years. They have so far found that Trump’s promises “ add up to more than $8.5 million. But public records show little evidence that Trump made good on those promises. He has given away only $2.8 million through his Donald J. Trump Foundation, and public records show no gifts at all from Trump to his namesake foundation since 2008.”

 

 

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., July 5, 2016.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Trump speaking at Londonderry, NH rally

Screenshot from YouTube

Donald Trump once again baselessly claimed on Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic was "going to be over" soon, just hours after his chief of staff suggested the administration was unable to get it under control.

"Now we have the best tests, and we are coming around, we're rounding the turn," Trump said at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. "We have the vaccines, we have everything. We're rounding the turn. Even without the vaccines, we're rounding the turn, it's going to be over."

Trump has made similar claims on repeated occasions in the past, stating early on in the pandemic that the coronavirus would go away on its own, then with the return of warmer weather.

That has not happened: Over the past several weeks, multiple states have seen a surge in cases of COVID-19, with some places, including Utah, Texas, and Wisconsin, setting up overflow hospital units to accommodate the rapidly growing number of patients.

Hours earlier on Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appeared to contradict Trump, telling CNN that there was no point in trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus because it was, for all intents and purposes, out of their control.

"We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," he said. "Because it is a contagious virus, just like the flu."

Meadows doubled own on Monday, telling reporters, "We're going to defeat the virus; we're not going to control it."

"We will try to contain it as best we can, but if you look at the full context of what I was talking about, we need to make sure that we have therapeutics and vaccines, we may need to make sure that when people get sick, that, that they have the kind of therapies that the president of the United States had," he added.Public health experts, including those in Trump's own administration, have made it clear that there are two major things that could curb the pandemic's spread: mask wearing and social distancing.

But Trump has repeatedly undermined both, expressing doubt about the efficacy of masks and repeatedly ignoring social distancing and other safety rules — even when doing so violated local and state laws.

Trump, who recently recovered from COVID-19 himself, openly mocked a reporter on Friday for wearing a mask at the White House — which continues to be a hotspot for the virus and which was the location of a superspreader event late last month that led to dozens of cases. "He's got a mask on that's the largest mask I think I've ever seen. So I don't know if you can hear him," Trump said as his maskless staff laughed alongside him.

At the Manchester rally on Sunday, Trump also bragged of "unbelievable" crowd sizes at his mass campaign events. "There are thousands of people there," he claimed, before bashing former Vice President Joe Biden for holding socially distant campaign events that followed COVID safety protocols.

"They had 42 people," he said of a recent Biden campaign event featuring former President Barack Obama. "He drew flies, did you ever hear the expression?"

Last Monday, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) endorsed Biden's approach to the pandemic as better than Trump's, without "any doubt."

"The more we go down the road resisting masks and distance and tracing and the things that the scientists are telling us, I think the more concerned I get about our management of the COVID situation," he told CNN.

In his final debate against Biden last Thursday, Trump was asked what his plan was to end the pandemic. His answer made it clear that, aside from waiting for a vaccine, he does not have one.

"There is a spike, there was a spike in Florida and it's now gone. There was a very big spike in Texas — it's now gone. There was a spike in Arizona, it is now gone. There are spikes and surges in other places — they will soon be gone," he boasted. "We have a vaccine that is ready and it will be announced within weeks and it's going to be delivered. We have Operation Warp Speed, which is the military is going to distribute the vaccine."

Experts have said a safe vaccine will likely not be ready until the end of the year at the earliest, and that most people will not be able to be vaccinated until next year.

Trump also bragged Sunday that he had been "congratulated by the heads of many countries on what we have been able to do," without laying out any other strategy for going forward.

Nationally, new cases set a single-day record this weekend, with roughly 84,000 people testing positive each day. More than 8.5 million Americans have now contracted the virus and about 225,000 have died.

Trump, by contrast, tweeted on Monday that he has "made tremendous progress" with the virus, while suggesting that it should be illegal for the media to report on it before the election.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.