Wash. Post’s Fahrenthold: Trump Charity Doesn’t Have Permission To Solicit Donations, Which Would Require An Audit

Fahrenthold: “If He Had Done This In The Right Way … He Would Have To Get An Audit” And Accountants Would “Ask Was He Spending The Foundation's Money In Ways That Benefited Himself”

From the September 30 edition of CNN’s At This Hour with Berman and Bolduan:

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KATE BOLDUAN (CO-HOST): So David, walk us through. Tell us about your new reporting. Give us the nutshell of it. 

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Sure. What's important here is the Trump Foundation used to be all Donald Trump's money, but in fact, Trump hasn't given anything to the foundation since 2008, it's all been other people's money. So what we found out now is that in New York State, where the Trump Foundation is headquartered, you need a special kind of permission, a special sort of scrutiny in order to solicit, to ask for donations from other people besides yourself. The Trump Foundation doesn't have it. So for years it's been collecting money from the public without the permission that apparently it requires. 

JOHN BERMAN (CO-HOST): And what's the implication of that or what is the greater meaning of that? By not having that certification, what does it entail you to or not require of you? 

FAHRENTHOLD: The most important thing here is that if Trump had sought the right kind of certification for his foundation, he would have had to submit to an annual independent audit. So right now he sends in his tax forms, but he would have to -- if he had done this in the right way, it appears, he would have to get an audit where accountants would come in, look at his checks to make sure he did his books right and also ask was he spending the foundation's money in ways that benefited himself. Now we’ve looked back already and found a few instances where that seems to have happened, but it wasn't caught until this year. 


BERMAN: So Donald Trump's son with the same accountant did do it, did get the certification, Donald Trump the father, with the same accountant, did not get it. That's what you're saying? 

FAHRENTHOLD: That's right. 

BERMAN: Has the Trump campaign responded to you about this yet? 

FAHRENTHOLD: No, they have not at all. 

BOLDUAN: Are you -- that's surprising because there's been a lot of back and forth kind of your reporting and a lot of response to your reporting. Is it a deadline issue, David? Give us what your thoughts are on that. 

FAHRENTHOLD: I sent them a couple emails yesterday afternoon and in the past they have responded sometimes and haven't responded sometimes. Sometimes the story comes out and they respond on television, so that may be happening today.


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