The Eric Trump Charity Paid the Trump Organization Big Bucks

Vickie Mathis
December 24, 2016

On Wednesday, Eric Trump told the New York Times that he will stop soliciting funds for his charitable organization the Eric Trump Foundation to evade potential conflicts of interest, given his father's position.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016my presidency.

Eric Trump said Wednesday that it pained him to cease soliciting donations for his organization, which he says has raised more than $15 million for terminally ill children with cancer.

So no, I'm not buying this idea that Eric Trump has just lately been stripped of his naiveté and come to the sad realization that his proximity to his own father can be exploited by wealthy donors.

The announcement came as the Trump children came under fire for holding charity events that would allow high-dollar donors access. According to a draft invitation, donors could pay $500,000 to go on a multiday hunting trip with one or both of the Trump sons, or pay $1,000,000 for a private reception with the president.

It's unclear if that rule applies to the Trump Foundation, Donald Trump's charity, and the president-elect still hasn't given details on how he'll avoid the many conflicts of interest presented by his business dealings. Their friend Gentry Beach, a Dallas businessman, is now listed as the sole director of what's called the Opening Day Foundation. "I'm a civilian in all this and, looking in, I've never seen this kind of corruption before", Trump said. In addition, that group has stripped all references to contributors meeting with any of the Trumps, although the sons remain listed as honorary co-chairmen on a revised invitation to the January 21 event.

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Eric has been raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which offers free care to needy children, for more than a decade.

Trump's comments, however, are incredibly hypocritical, given that he hammered Hillary Clinton for her charitable foundation, which raised almost $2 billion since its founding to help impoverished people and people with HIV/AIDS around the globe.

Clinton denied the claim, and Fortune noted that she hadn't actually served on the foundation's board since 2015 (and was also not involved while she was Secretary of State). St. Jude named a surgery and intensive-care unit after the Eric Trump Foundation in 2015, after the foundation made a pledge to donate $20 million over 10 years.

President-elect Donald Trump continues to face ongoing criticism for the numerous conflicts of interest that now exist between his business deals and his presidency.

While Eric Trump's decision may remove one ethical "quagmire", as he put it, another remains: the question of who will run the Trump Organization and how Donald Trump will, or won't, separate himself from his personal businesses while serving as president.

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