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June 14, 2016

Trump’s Trail of Charity Promises Draws Media Scrutiny

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pledged to give to charity all proceeds from a 2009 property-rental deal with Muammar Qaddafi, but there is no evidence he did so, according to Politico. The article is the latest in a series of press reports on the billionaire mogul’s public promises to donate profits from various business ventures stretching back to the late 1980s.

Mr. Trump struck an agreement to rent the grounds of his New York-area estate to the late Libyan dictator during a United Nations General Assembly meeting. Mr. Qaddafi planned to live in a Bedouin-style tent on the estate during the session, but local authorities ordered it taken down. In 2011, Mr. Trump told CNN, "I said, when I did it, ‘I’m going to take Qaddafi’s money. I’m not going make it easy on him, and I’m going to give the money to charity.’ And that's exactly what I did.”

Politico says it has been unable to verify any donations arising from the deal, and a Trump campaign spokeswoman did not address questions on the matter. The Huffington Post, which overtly opposes Mr. Trump’s candidacy, has reported in the past week on pledges he made to donate profits from his 2015 book, Crippled America, his Trump Vodka spirits line, and Trump: The Game, a board game released in 1989. The news and commentary website says Mr. Trump’s campaign and business organization have refused to confirm or comment on any of the purported gifts.

Media scrutiny of Mr. Trump’s giving grew amid follow-up reporting on his January rally for veterans groups and whether all the money he said was raised at the event — including a personal $1 million donation — had been distributed. Efforts to verify Mr. Trump’s charity claims have been hampered by his refusal to release his personal tax returns. Tax filings by the Donald J. Trump Foundation show he made no donations to his family philanthropy from 2010 to 2014.