Elsewhere online
July 11, 2016

Trump Bid $120,000 for Paris Trip With Foundation Money

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump won a luxurious vacation to Paris at a 2008 charity auction with a $120,000 bid using money from the foundation bearing his name — but the funds likely included little of his own money, according to BuzzFeed News. 

Mr. Trump had donated only $30,000 in 2008 to his Donald J. Trump Foundation, which paid for his bid on the trip at a Gucci Foundation charity gala that year. The gala was a star-studded event held on the United Nations’ north lawn in New York, and Mr. Trump’s gift, which the Gucci Foundation would use to support other charities, made international headlines. The previous year, Mr. Trump’s foundation had spent almost all of its money, BuzzFeed reports. 

An aide to Mr. Trump said the candidate did not go on the trip, which reportedly included a tour of a famed vineyard and a meal with actress Salma Hayek and her husband, French billionaire François-Henri Pinault. The aide told BuzzFeed she was unsure who, if anyone, did go on the vacation. 

If Mr. Trump had allowed a family member or friend to go on the trip, it would have to be reported on the organization’s tax form 990, which requires that officials at charities report any “self-dealing.” The foundation’s 990 for 2008 does not report any such transaction, according to BuzzFeed.

IRS tax forms show Mr. Trump’s foundation made a gift of $107,000 for the trip, while the Gucci Foundation’s shows a donation of $145,000. The discrepancy is because the Trump foundation deducted the cost of his table and the value of the trip in its filing. 

The bid is just the latest in a string of questionable charity claims from Mr. Trump that have come under scrutiny by the media. 

Read a  Chronicle of Philanthropy story on Mr. Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s charities and donations.