An aide to members of Donald Trump’s family on Wednesday defended Trump’s personal use of funds from his foundation, arguing that some third party donations should count as Trump’s money.
“A lot of times Mr. Trump will give a speech somewhere or he’ll raise money in some way and he asks that that entity, instead of cutting a personal check to him, cut it to his charity,” Lynne Patton told the Des Moines Register. “That’s money that otherwise would’ve been in his personal account, right?”
“So when he cuts a check from his foundation for let’s say, St. Jude, it is his money,” Patton, the senior assistant three of Trump’s children and the vice president of Eric Trump’s charity, continued. “No ifs, ands or ways about it.”
The Washington Post reported this week that Trump has used a total of $258,000 from his foundation to settle personal legal matters. The Post has previously reported that Trump’s charity has largely operated with donations from other people in recent years, not with donations from Trump himself.
Following the report, the Trump campaign lashed out at the Washington Post, and claimed that the paper had “gotten their facts wrong.” But the campaign did not address any specifics about the Post’s reporting.
Patton’s explanation went further than the response from the campaign, as she claimed that donations prompted by Trump’s speaking engagements should be considered Trump’s money.
“That’s his money going into his foundation,” she told the Des Moines Register. “Just because the check doesn’t say ‘Donald and Melania Trump, TD Bank or Chase Manhattan (Bank)’ doesn’t mean it’s not their money.”