Trump Says He's Shutting Down the Trump Foundation

Though it's unclear if he can legally do that due to an ongoing investigation
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2016 4:44 PM CST
Trump Says He's Shutting Down the Trump Foundation
In this Oct. 21, 2016, file photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally, in Johnstown, Pa.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Donald Trump announced Saturday that he'll be shutting down the Trump Foundation, CNN reports. "To avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president, I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways," Trump says in a statement. However, the New York Times notes Trump stopped short of admitting actually having any conflicts of interest. He also gave no timeline for when the foundation would be dissolved, according to the Washington Post. And it's unclear where the $1.16 million in assets the foundation reported in 2015 tax filings will go. Politico reports that Trump says he'll now use the presidency to solve "the many problems facing our country and the world."

In his statement Saturday, Trump claimed "100% of the money" from the Trump Foundation went to charity. However, the foundation admitted to breaking self-dealing laws in 2015, meaning charity funds were used to benefit foundation members, their relatives, or their businesses. Other self-dealing allegations go as far back as 2007. The foundation paid $30,000 for two portraits of Trump, one of which hangs in a sports bar in a Trump-owned resort. And the foundation apparently used more than $250,000 in charity funds to settle lawsuits involving Trump-owned clubs. It's unclear if Trump even can dissolve the foundation, as its activities are currently under investigation in New York. Regardless, ethics experts say shutting down his charity won't actually do anything to rid him of conflicts of interest prior to taking office. (Read more Donald J. Trump Foundation stories.)

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