Trump Campaign Manager Says Running for President Is His Charitable Donation

Asked to defend Trump’s questionable charitable giving, Kellyanne Conway came up with a novel argument.

Shelley Lipton/ZUMA

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Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was asked in an interview on CNBC Monday morning to defend the Republican nominee’s lack of a paper trail for his claims of charitable donations. As documented in extensive reporting by the Washington Post‘s David Fahrenthold, there is scant evidence that Trump has given any significant amount of his own money to charity.

Conway started her response by saying she had personally observed Trump signing checks. Then she switched to a novel defense of Trump’s generosity: His presidential campaign qualifies as a charitable contribution to the country.

“And the fact is that the idea that somebody who has made such a tremendous sacrifice to run for president—basically a huge sacrifice: didn’t need the money, didn’t need the fame, didn’t need the power, didn’t need the status—and you’ve got a lot of deals that didn’t get done, I’m sure, in the Trump Corporation because the guy at the top is running for president,” she said. “Those are tremendous sacrifices. He’s been incredibly generous.”

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We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

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