Eric Trump Suspends His Charitable Foundation

He says he understands ethical 'quagmire'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2016 12:55 AM CST
Eric Trump Suspends Charitable Foundation
Eric Trump, son of President-elect Donald Trump, waits for an elevator in the lobby of Trump Tower last week.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Eric Trump has decided to put his charitable foundation on hold amid controversy over access to members of his family. The Trump son tells the Washington Post that no new money will come into the account of the Eric Trump Foundation, which raises around $1.5 million a year through events like golf tournaments and donates most of it to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., which treats children with cancer. Eric Trump earlier said he would suspend fundraising because of the possibility donors might improperly seek access to his father. "As unfortunate as it is, I understand the quagmire," he told the New York Times Wednesday evening. "You do a good thing that backfires." The charity shut down its auction of a coffee date with Ivanka Trump last week.

Foundation board member Andrew Joblon tells the Post that he's saddened by the suspension of operations. "The only ones losing here are the kids, and that to me doesn't sit very well," he says. "Eric, or any of the board members have never leveraged business relationships for donations." The suspension came the same day as the AP reported that the foundation had "flouted philanthropic standards" with payments for goods and services to Trump businesses and charities, and by failing to report multiple conflicts of interest involving board members. Eric Trump exaggerated the size of the charity and falsely claimed that it benefited from free use of Trump golf courses, when the family courses had in fact been reimbursed after being used for fundraisers, according to records seen by the AP. (More Eric Trump stories.)

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