Quote of the Day: Nothing in Writing, Please

Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA

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From a Palm Beach Post story by Christine Stapleton and Lawrence Mower about Donald Trump’s purchase of Mar-a-Lago in the early 90s:

Trump’s promise couldn’t be in writing, Trump attorney Rampell told the council, according to meeting minutes and transcripts. If the council insisted Trump’s commitment be in writing, his donation might be disqualified by the IRS as a charitable contribution.

The backstory here is that the city of Palm Beach wasn’t happy with Trump’s plans for preserving the Mar-a-Lago estate. So Trump’s lawyers proposed a deal: if the city council approved Trump’s plan to create a private club, Trump would turn over much of the interior of the mansion to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. But the deal had to be under the table. Trump wanted a tax deduction for his charitable contribution to the NTHP, and it’s not charitable if it’s done in return for something, is it?

So, wink wink nudge nudge, and the deal went through. But there was never any paper trail, so the IRS approved the charitable deduction. Life is good when you’re a millionaire.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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