Our current crop of the UK’s political leaders may not appeal to the likes of pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins, but her adoration for Combover Crybaby Donald Trump knows no bounds. This fawning, unquestioning and naive stance means she is highly susceptible to take whatever The Donald claims as indisputable fact, which is not a good way to approach someone who lies, more or less, when he draws breath.
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So after Trump made yet another pointless tour of disaster-stricken areas in the southern USA in the wake of hurricane, and later tropical storm, Harvey, and declared that he would donate $1 million of his own money to aid victims, Hatey Katie experienced the rapture. Her hero was Doing The Right Thing. This she had to tell her followers.
“Trump pledges $1 million of personal funds to help with #Harvey. For the first time, there is a authentic human in the White House #MAGA” she gurgle happily. But Trump pledging, and then actually ponying up the dosh, are two very different things. Also, Trump ponying up his own dosh has not exactly been a common occurrence of late.
Indeed, Trump failing to follow through on giving what he said he would be giving is yet another spectator sport for which The Donald is notorious, as Keith Olbermann reminded Ms Hopkins: “You have noticed he has yet to fulfill any of his charity promises, right? You fell for it again”. Not only that, but there was then the question of whose money it was.
As Denise Toole pointed out, Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama gave $1.1 million of his own money to charitable causes between 2009 and 2015. Was the Trump million coming from him? Well, it was … and then White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wasn’t so sure. Judd Legum observed “White House walks back promise about Trump donating his ‘personal money’ to Harvey victims”. His was not the only scepticism.
Elizabeth Williams said what many observers were probably thinking: “I didn't need to see Obama's birth certificate to believe he's American, but I'll definitely need to see Trump's hurricane donation receipt”. Why so? Ah well. The suspicion is that any money will come not from Trump himself, but from the Donald J Trump Foundation.
The Trump Foundation was established in 1988. Some snippets from the Wiki entry give a flavour of its controversial existence: “In 2015, a Trump Organization spokesperson told the New York Post that Trump made all decisions regarding the granting of Trump Foundation money … the foundation has conducted no charitable programs of its own. Instead, it has granted money to other tax-exempt organisations … Since making a $35,000 gift in 2008, Trump has made no additional personal donations to the foundation”.
Moreover, “Several philanthropy experts noted that having a family foundation without any family money is unusual”. The Trump Foundation appears to have been used by Trump as a personal piggy bank. He has taken personal credit for donations from the Foundation in the past. Now his foundation is the most likely source of his latest pledge.
As opposed to Barack Obama, who gave his own money. But Katie Hopkins is either too credulous, or too stupid, to see what is going on. Which is true I will leave to others.