Aide Cuts Interview As Trump Jr. Asked About Charity Money Going To Portrait (VIDEO)

Donald Trump Jr., son of of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, talks to reporters after his sound check before the start of the second day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

An aide abruptly shut down a local TV reporter’s Thursday interview with Donald Trump Jr. when the real estate scion was asked about a six-foot-tall portrait of his father reportedly bought with money from the family’s charitable foundation.

“You’re a director of the Trump Foundation charity,” a reporter from Pittsburgh TV station WTAE asked in video flagged by BuzzFeed News. “Did you sign off on charity money for a portrait?”

“No, I don’t know anything about that,” Trump Jr. replied.

“So how come you didn’t know about it?” the reporter pressed.

“All right, that’s it,” a person off-camera interrupted, speaking over Trump Jr. “We have to move on. We have to move on to the next one.”

“I’m not worried—I’m not involved in it,” Trump Jr. added.

A series of reports on the inner workings of the Trump Foundation from the Washington Post’s David Farenthold have revealed that Donald Trump has not donated any of his own money to the foundation since 2008. He also reportedly spent the charity’s money on gifts for himself, including a six-foot-tall painting of himself. That purchase may have violated IRS rules depending on its current whereabouts.

Farenthold reported Wednesday that if Trump did not find a “charitable use” for the $20,000 painting, then its purchase may have been an instance of “self-dealing,” which could result in the imposition of penalties on both Trump and the foundation.

In a Wednesday phone interview with Cosmopolitan, Ivanka Trump also abruptly stopped taking questions when the reporter pressed her for specifics on Donald Trump’s newly announced paid maternity leave policy.

Watch the interview with Trump Jr. below via Buzzfeed:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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