Watch A Trump Surrogate Flounder When Confronted With Wash. Post's Trump Foundation Reporting

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

Video file

JOHN BERMAN (CO-HOST): Does Donald Trump, does the Trump Foundation have the required certification it needs in New York State?

BORIS EPSHTEYN: Donald Trump and his foundation, to my knowledge, have followed all the applicable rules and regulations in terms of the foundation. And the key --

BERMAN: Does it have -- David Fahrenthold reported very specifically it doesn't have the certification it needs to solicit money. Before you say anything else, do they have the certification to solicit funds?

EPSHTEYN: I'm not the attorney for the foundation. I'm not the accountant for the foundation. David Fahrenthold is not an attorney at all. He's playing Inspector Clouseau over here and trying to find some clues and piece them together. All of his other writings have been complete failures.


KATE BOLDUAN (CO-HOST): How have they been failures?

EPSHTEYN: CNN had to have forced him to update one of his pieces when he said, “Well, these five charities didn't receive any money from the foundation.” Then CNN, your own Drew Griffin, said, “Actually, these three did.” He had to update the story. Then the story he did last week was full of innuendo. And if he were willing to come on and actually have a discussion, I'd have a question for him, which is, where is the proof? He has no proof in anything he writes. It's all innuendo. And he said it “appears.”

BOLDUAN: Here's the thing. He has actually asked for -- I mean your campaign came out and completely trashed him in a statement following one of his reports, and in asking for any evidence to kind of support what you guys are saying where he has been factually inaccurate, you haven't provided it to him.

EPSHTEYN: It's his job, but he's the reporter that's dead set on disparaging this foundation that does good work. The money that --

BOLDUAN: I don't think that's actually -- I don't. 

EPSHTEYN: Honestly, he's made less than [INAUDIBLE].

BOLDUAN: Why don't you put the personal attacks aside? That might be a good idea. 

EPSHTEYN: It's not a personal attack. 

BOLDUAN: That's not a personal attack? It's his [INAUDIBLE] that's he's taking it on personally to disparage this organization?

EPSHTEYN: Well take a look at whatever else he's written this year or the last six months, I'm not aware of anything but that.

BERMAN: Hang on Boris, let's address the facts. You've said that his last report was filled with inaccuracies. I don't think you've actually said this one is, right? So, you either have the certification or you don't. The attorney general of New York says no. Do you have any reason to dispute that?

EPSHTEYN: Again, I'm not the attorney for the foundation. What I'm telling you --

BERMAN: So you're not disputing the facts -- hang on, hang on, you're not disputing the facts of this story, right? You're not disputing the facts of this story?

EPSHTEYN: There are no real facts in the story.

BERMAN: You don't have the certification.

BOLDUAN: There's one box that you checked. 

EPSHTEYN: As far as the certification goes, again, to my knowledge, the Trump Foundation, the Donald Trump Foundation and Mr. Trump follow all applicable rules and regulations, because what you're missing here is that there's a lot of requirements in there that David went through and that's why he kept saying “it appears,” he couldn't prove anything. You have to talk about the definition of solicitation. You have to talk about --

BERMAN: So let's talk about --

BOLDUAN: There is an example of solicitation -- there is an example that seems of clear solicitation. Well here's the definition of solicitation. I would say we've all watched Donald Trump hold a fundraiser on television. He was actually counterprogramming to a debate for veterans, and in doing so, soliciting donations to his organization. Here's what he said. “We set up a website, We've already raised $500,000 just today.”

EPSHTEYN: Which is great, right? That's a good thing?

BERMAN: Would you consider that a solicitation?

BOLDUAN: Well that's not the point. That's a solicitation.

EPSHTEYN: You don't think it's the point that $500,000, actually over $1 million from Donald Trump himself, and over $6 million I think, went to veterans? Shouldn't we be talking about that? Veterans groups received $6 million, and you want to talk about a box that may or may not have been checked correctly or incorrectly?

BOLDUAN: No, you're actually just distracting. Because, if you want to actually get down to the facts, which you're asking for, then let's get down to the facts. Is that not solicitation?

EPSHTEYN: Again, I'm not the attorney for the foundation. David Fahrenthold is not part of any legal entity. He's just a reporter who's made his life's work -- 

BOLDUAN: So if you don't know, then why are you trashing the report?

EPSHTEYN: What I'm saying is David Fahrenthold is writing about some innuendo, he is --


EPSHTEYN: Can I finish answering?

BERMAN: Not when you're going to slander a reporter who got a statement from the attorney general of New York, then took it to tax and IRS experts and asked them what they thought about what they were learning. Hang on. That's what David Fahrenthold did. We're asking you about the facts of this case, and if you're not going to comment on the facts of the case, then --

EPSHTEYN: I will comment on the facts. The New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, is a partisan, he is a Clinton supporter, he's a Clinton donor, he's part of the Clinton leadership council. So you think he's impartial here? And what Eric Schneiderman you think the New York attorney general is somehow impartial in going after Donald Trump?

BOLDUAN: But when it comes down to a form, Boris, where you check a box that on the form, that would -- that is required, if you're going to solicit donations, if that is improper, that he hasn't and he's soliciting donations, then that is improper. And here's why it seems pretty glaring: his son has a foundation that shares the same accountant, and his son did it properly.

EPSHTEYN: Well, again, you are making a judgment here that it's improper. I will leave that judgment to attorneys and the New York attorney general. If he wants to look into it, I guess he may or may not. Again, based on the information I have, Mr. Trump and his foundation have done everything properly. The issues we should be talking about is the amount of money that has gone to vets, to police, to women's groups. 

BOLDUAN: You're doing a really good job and you are an attorney, you've done a good job of caveating every single one of your answers with  “based on the information that you have.” Will you submit that you have no information?

EPSHTEYN: I'm not the attorney for the foundation. 

BOLDUAN: Right, so you have no information about the foundation, but you're here to answer these questions?

EPSHTEYN: I'm here from the Trump campaign to talk to you about the issues that matter from our perspective.


Wash. Post: Trump Foundation Lacks The Certification Required For Charities That Solicit Money


Trump Surrogate Lashes Out At Wash. Post's Fahrenthold For His Reporting On The Trump Foundation

Wash. Post’s David Fahrenthold: Trump Appears To Have Lied To The IRS About Illegal Charity Self-Dealing

Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold Exposes The Fraudulent Nature Of Trump’s Charitable Foundation

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