Yes, Donald Trump donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation
As Donald Trump amps up attacks on the Clinton Foundation, Democrats are pointing out that Trump himself has given to the nonprofit he now calls a pay-to-play operation.
Recently released emails between Hillary Clinton’s aides when she was secretary of state and officials at the Clinton Foundation have demonstrated that some foundation donors did get access to Clinton, though there’s no evidence of direct favors.
Addressing the topic on NBC’s Meet the Press, Barack Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe noted the Clinton Foundation’s work on HIV/AIDS and malaria and Trump’s own ties to the charity.
"The Clinton Foundation, I think it’s a universal agreement, has done remarkable work around the world. I think Donald Trump himself contributed $100,000 to the foundation," he said.
Plouffe is right that Trump gave at least $100,000 to the foundation, a fact that Trump and his campaign readily admit. One caveat: It appears that the money came through Trump’s own foundation, not directly from Trump.
Trump’s gift amount places him in the top 0.2 percent of the foundation’s donors. Most of its 300,000 donors (85.5 percent) gave less than $250.
Breaking it down by dollar amount, however, Trump’s total contribution isn’t that big. We estimated that the foundation has received at least $800 million in donations, over 70 percent of which came from gifts of $1 million or more.
In 2009, the Trump Foundation gave $926,750 to some 40 organizations (page 18). The Clinton Foundation received one of the largest gifts that year, matched or surpassed only by the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation ($100,000), the New York Presbyterian Hospital ($125,000) and the Police Athletic League ($156,000).
Altogether, the Trump Foundation has donated $5.5 million to 298 charities between 2009 and 2013 according to the nonprofit’s tax forms, Forbes found. Trump did not make any personal contributions to his foundations during this time. (Money for the Trump Foundation in these years came from others and from investment income.)
Trump doesn’t deny that he donated to the Clinton Foundation that he now calls a criminal enterprise.
"When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me," Trump said. "With Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding, and she came to my wedding. You know why? She didn’t have a choice, because I gave. I gave to a foundation that, frankly, that foundation is supposed to do good. I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world."
A few months later, Trump gave pretty similar answers when he was asked to explain the Forbes article on his charitable giving record in late January.
"I did give to the Clinton Foundation. What I didn't know is they'd be using it for private aircraft and things like that. The Clinton Foundation was helping with Haiti and with lots of other things and I thought it was going to do some good work. So, it didn't make any difference to me," he said on Jan. 31’s Fox News Sunday. "Again, I was a businessman and it was my obligation to get along with everybody, including the Clintons, including Democrats and liberals and Republicans and conservatives."