While everyone was talking about Hillary's pneumonia, this Trump scandal went unnoticed

Source: AP
Source: AP

This weekend, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton collapsed at a memorial service for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, later citing a battle with a bad bout of pneumonia as the cause of the discomforting moment.

But this weekend, the Washington Post came out with an expose that hasn't gotten nearly as much attention. The Trump Foundation, the charitable organization run by Republican nominee Donald Trump, does not operate in a fashion akin to other charities. Instead, it seems to mainly operate as a way for Trump to turn others' contributions into his own; "all of the donations have been other people's money — an arrangement that experts say is almost unheard of for a family foundation," the Post wrote.

According to the Post's investigation, Trump would routinely accept donations from other individuals and then shuttle them to other groups who received the money under the impression it was his, and in two cases, appeared to buy gifts for himself. One of the gifts, previously reported, was a football helmet signed by Tim Tebow — Trump paid $12,000, though similar memorabilia is worth just $415. The other? A six-foot-tall painting of himself for $20,000.

Additional, the Trump Foundation appeared to violate IRS regulations "which require nonprofit groups to file accurate paperwork," variously reporting contributions which never happened or inaccurately listing where money had come from.

From 1987 to 2006, Trump did indeed give away $5.4 million. But in 2007 and 2008, Trump donated just $35,000 and $30,000 respectively, and since then his foundation has primarily given "small, scattered gifts — which seem to be driven by the demands of Trump's businesses and social life" instead of philanthropic impulses.

In other words, the Trump Foundation is doing things that look fairly unseemly to outside observers.

But much of the weekend's political coverage dealt with Clinton's collapse and pneumonia — a major story, albeit one primarily about the optics of being seen suffering from an ailment while Trump and his campaign surrogates spread conspiracy theories about her health.

The likely reason is that not just the media, but the candidates themselves hold themselves to different standards than each other. Trump simply doesn't care what reporters have to say about him, and at the end of the day, there isn't much the media can say that will register with his supporters.

Meanwhile, the public has already been deluged with negative information about Trump: according to an average of polls kept by Real Clear Politics, the candidate's unfavorable rating has reached around 58.6%. With so much baggage already apparent, perhaps there's just not much left for voters to be surprised by in the rundown to election day.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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