Sorry, Inner City Chicago Kids And AIDS Patients, Donald Trump Will Not Be Giving You A Penny
11/1 UPDATE: Despite being given an additional 24 hours in light of Hurricane Sandy, President Barack Obama today let Donald Trump's 12 PM (Eastern) deadline pass to release his college and passport records in return for a $5 million donation to the charity of his choice.
As detailed below, the real estate developer is the country's cheapest, least philanthropic billionaire. So don't hold your breath waiting for him to redirect that $5 million to a charity helping his fellow New Yorkers (like, say, the American Red Cross). Because from the penthouse of the Trump Tower--home to The Donald, wife Melania, and little Barron--the publicity hound remains above it all.
Donald Trump is offering to donate $5 million to charity--just so long as President Barack Obama digs up and releases his passport and college records in the next week (to The Donald’s “satisfaction,” of course).
So this is what it takes to get the purported billionaire to act like a philanthropist?
As reported in these pages, the real estate developer is the country’s least charitable billionaire, a guy who has personally donated a combined $3.7 million to his foundation since 1990. In fact, the largest contributor to the Donald J. Trump Foundation is not the businessman himself, but rather the World Wrestling Federation, which has given the group $5 million in return for Trump’s participation in some WWE promotions.
In announcing his $5 million offer to Obama, the 66-year-old Trump suggested that the funds could benefit “inner city children in Chicago,” AIDS research, or the American Cancer Society. Trump, of course, never opened his foundation’s wallet in the wake of tragedies like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, or the Haiti earthquake.
While he amusingly refers to himself as an “ardent philanthropist,” Trump’s charitable activities make him the laughingstock of the uberwealthy. Over the past 21 years, Trump’s foundation (principally seeded by WWE money) has donated a total of $7.7 million.
How cheap is Trump?
Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s billionaire mayor, donated more than $350 million to his foundation in 2010 (the last year for which records are available). The charitable trust established by the late hotelier Leona Helmsley (who Trump delighted in tormenting) has more than $4 billion in assets.
In the past two months, the Helmsley trust has made grants in excess of $9 million, more than Trump’s foundation has given, in total, since 1990.
Shortly after announcing his donation gambit via Facebook and Twitter, Trump announced that response to his crass PR stunt “has been fantastic--- actually overwhelming!” Which will come as a relief to those AIDS patients and “inner city children in Chicago.”