President Donald Trump, his family and the Trump Organization have been previously accused several times of failing to deliver on promised or stated charitable donations -- be they through their respective foundations, presidential campaigns or otherwise. So, those allegations aren't anything new. However, now Trump's Los Angeles-area golf club has been roped into these accusations.
National Public Radio (NPR) went digging into claims made on the website for Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles, which is in Palos Los Verdes, that the club had given some $5 million in charitable donations to a wide variety of organizations. The reporters at NPR were only able to track approximately $800,000 of those donations, with a number of Trump-stated recipients saying they had never received money, promised or otherwise.
"So we examined this list that was on the website," said Tom Dreisbach, reporting on the story on-air. "We cross-referenced that with a publicly available document that the Trump campaign had put out where they essentially just listed out all of their donations over the years, and that included some donations from the golf club. But when we looked at the golf club's website, they included some organizations that weren't on that document. So that got us to look a little bit closer."
In total, 17 of the organizations listed on the golf club website said they had received no donations or had no record of such a donation, including the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Most of the donations NPR could track down were "almost entirely in-kind donations for a round of golf or a gift certificate for a Sunday brunch for two."
Some charities said they had received significant cash donations, in the area of $10,000-$15,000, and they were grateful for the gift.
One thought is a large portion of the valuation of these charitable gifts is an easement Trump National has with the local government, agreeing to maintain the club's driving range as a permanent open space. But, at the end of it all, it's still a driving range people use on a golf course Trump has run since 2002.
The end result was the Trump Organization declining comment on the story and the removal of the charitable claims from the website.