For months, Donald Trump has faced questions about his philanthropic giving, or lack thereof, as more and more evidence shows that the business mogul gives very, very, very little money to charity even though he often brags about making huge donations.
But according to his son, Eric Trump, charitable giving is “the barometer by which we will be measured for our time here on earth,” as he told members of the Republican National Convention last night:
…I often think about the legacy I wish to leave my children, and to me, there are few things that I hold closer to my heart than charity. For me, it’s the essence of who we are as human beings. It’s the barometer by which we will be measured for our time here on earth. As Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?’ When at 22 years old I founded the Eric Trump Foundation, to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, an incredible, incredible organization. I run my foundation based on the principles my father taught me: honesty, integrity, and values. I expect other charities to be run by the same moral code, not serve as conduit for personal enrichment, not become a beacon of corruption and scandal.
As David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post reported, when asked this week, Eric couldn’t remember a single instance in which his father personally donated to his charity, despite having previously said that the elder Trump had contributed generously:
Last week, Eric Trump said that his own charitable foundation had received “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in personal donations from his father.
But on Monday, Eric Trump said he could not name a single instance when Donald Trump had given such a gift.
“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,” Eric Trump wrote in an email message to The Washington Post.
Why had he asserted that his father had given his charity hundreds of thousands of dollars, if now he didn’t remember it ever happening?
“Just to be clear, I never said no,” Eric Trump wrote in a late-evening email on Monday, meaning he hadn’t said that Donald Trump had not given the Eric Trump Foundation a personal gift.
But Eric Trump said he was too busy to look for evidence that would back up his earlier statements: “I have a lot going on — I just don’t have the time. Good luck with the story,” he wrote.