It's an unusually busy week for President Trump on the political front, but an investigative story by Forbes that casts his family's charity work in a bad light is percolating as well. The upshot of the piece by Dan Alexander is that the Trump Organization made money off an annual golf fundraiser run by Eric Trump intended to benefit kids with cancer. The mechanics of how this came to be is, as Alexander writes, "byzantine," but it revolves around one key point: The Trump Organization began charging for use of the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, NY, for the fundraiser, though Eric Trump had long boasted that it was all comped. Indeed, that was always one of his selling points to donors: Because the course was free, more money could go toward cancer research at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
In the early years of the fundraiser, when it was relatively small-scale, the Trump Organization charged a relatively modest fee of about $50,000 a year for expenses. But in 2011, the annual cost began soaring, first to $142,000 and eventually to $322,000. Why the change? "(Donald) Trump had a cow," a former exec for Trump National Westchester says. "He was like, 'We're donating all of this stuff, and there's no paper trail? No credit?' And he went nuts. He said, 'I don't care if it's my son or not—everybody gets billed.'" The story makes clear that the fundraiser has been a boon for St. Jude's, providing about $11 million. But it also points out that the Trump Organization has received more than $1.2 million in payments as well. Click for the full story, which details the complicated web involving the Eric Trump Foundation and the Donald J. Trump Foundation.