Trump used 'charity' money to purchase portraits of himself. Now he has to sell them for thousands less.
Trump will have to get rid of two paintings of himself that were acquired using money from his corrupt foundation — at a loss of thousands of dollars.
The sale is part of the fallout from the ongoing lawsuit against the Trump Foundation by New York's Attorney General for misuse of "charity" funds. The agreement with the attorney general's office says that Trump must sell two large portraits of himself that he spent $30,000 of foundation money on. The paintings are now valued at thousands of dollars less than what he paid for them.
One painting was a six-foot-tall portrait of Trump, a "speed painting" by artist Michael Israel painted in under six minutes during an event at Mar-a-Lago. The other painting is a four-foot-tall portrait of Trump's face that the Washington Post described as a "a younger-looking, mid-'90s Trump, painted in acrylic on top of an old architectural drawing."
Trump also spent $12,000 of money ostensibly donated for charity on a Denver Broncos helmet signed by former quarterback Tim Tebow.
Take together, all three items have been valued at $975 on a recent IRS filing, a drop in value of $41,025.
Trump is being forced to shut down the Trump Foundation, which New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood described as being part of "a shocking pattern of illegality." Underwood said Trump and his foundation engaged in "unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more."
The foundation, she said, was "little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests."
Along with Trump, his three eldest children — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump — are also defendants in the ongoing lawsuit.
Expenditures uncovered by the Washington Post reporters show that Trump may have even used the charity to pay the $7 fee to enroll his son in Boy Scouts.
During the 2016 campaign, as Trump and his allies at Fox News were attacking the Clinton Foundation — a real charity that is still operating — President Barack Obama mocked Trump's vainglorious painting.
"You want to debate foundations and charities?" Obama said, "One candidate's family foundation has saved countless lives around the world. The other candidate's foundation took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a six-foot-tall painting of himself."
During the final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said, "I'd be happy to compare what we do with the Trump Foundation, which took money from other people and bought a six-foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that? It just was astonishing."
The agreement with the attorney general's office shows just how accurate those assessments were at the time they were made.
Trump being forced to sell the paintings of himself that he purchased via duplicitous financing is just a microcosm of his corrupt approach to business and politics.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.