- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is pushing back amid a new report that said Mr. Trump used his charitable foundation to cover more than a quarter million dollars in fees from legal disputes involving his business interests, saying there was no “intent or motive” for the foundation to make improper payments.

“There was not, and could not be, any intent or motive for the Trump Foundation to make improper payments,” Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement late Tuesday.

“All contributions are reported to the IRS, and all foundation donations are publicly disclosed,” Mr. Miller said. “Mr. Trump is generous both with his money and with his time. He has provided millions of dollars to fund his foundation and a multitude of other charitable causes.”

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Mr. Trump spent $258,000 from his charitable foundation to settle legal disputes involving the GOP nominee’s for-profit businesses.

In one case, Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida had faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach resulting from a dispute over the height of a flagpole, and in another, the foundation gave $158,000 to a charity amid a settlement over a disputed hole-in-one prize at a charity event at one of Mr. Trump’s courses, according to the report.

The paper said the payments could violate laws against “self-dealing,” which prevent nonprofit leaders from using charitable money to benefit themselves or their businesses.

Mr. Miller said the reporting is “peppered with inaccuracies and omissions” — comments that were added to the original story.

“It is the Clinton Foundation that is set up to make sure the Clintons personally enrich themselves by selling access and trading political favors,” Mr. Miller said. “The Trump Foundation has no paid board, no management fees, no rent or overhead and no family members on its payroll.”

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence likewise said late Tuesday there are “a number of factual errors” in the story, “as there were in previous stories about the Trump Foundation.”

“I’m confident they’ll be able to address those and demonstrate that they fully complied with the law,” Mr. Pence said on MSNBC, saying the larger issue at hand is the controversies surrounding the Clinton Foundation.

“I think the foundation [will] be able to lay those out. There were errors in the previous Washington Post stories,” he said. “I strongly support a free and independent press. People are entitled to ask questions and I’m sure the Trump Foundation and the Trump family [will] continue to be able to answer [them].”

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