|David Fahrenthold, a true American|
Like millions of disenfranchised Americans, I have been waiting. I have been biding my time while the fraudulently-elected president has been whirling around like a toddler in a candy store, incapable of resisting any single lolly pop in the shop. One morning, I keep telling myself, we are going to wake up, and find this nightmare has ended.
Conflicts of interest with his personal life, his professional life, his kids’ lives and his wife’s life, all dominate the scene, with $$’s being the pervasive subject at hand. Money flows like water after the snow has melted, and that is patently not what our forefathers had in mind, when it comes to leading our country.
With President Obama’s announcement that he has taken sanctions against Russia, we now have additional reason to believe that Trump collaborated with the Russians, to rig the just-completed election.
All it takes, I keep clamoring to myself, is one individual, somewhere along the line, who follows a thread and pins something on this buffoon that cannot be ignored. Or at least Trump can ignore it, but one judge, somewhere, is going to put his or her foot down, right on Trump’s neck, and the rest of him is going to end up in jail.
David Fahrenthold, a reporter for the Washington Post, is such a man and he is my hero. Reminiscent of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, Fahrenthold not only uncovered specific instances of Trump’s illegal activity, he utilized twitter on a national level, to help track down the necessary evidence to finally end the charade.
Fahrenthold, a reporter with the Post since 2000, began his lengthy saga in February, when he took note that a check presented to a veterans group for $100, 000, originating from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, also had the slogan of Trump’s Presidential Campaign on it: Make America Great Again.
When asked by Fahrenthold, Trump said he had raised $6 million at a fund raiser, including $1 million of his own money, and that he was going to donate the money to various charities along the route of his campaign.
Using Twitter, Fahrenthold started tweeting other veterans groups searching for Trump’s money, knowing that Trump would see this activity. It worked and began a series of direct communiques between Trump and Fahrenthold. It would seem that matters were not going well for the orange one when he concluded one phone call by asserting, “You know, you’re a nasty guy,” Trump told Fahrenhold, “You’re a really nasty guy.”
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Ultimately, after the reporter had delved deeply into the charity work, all he could account for was $1.1 million of the original six, and not a penny from Trump himself. This is strike one.
Having uncovered current wrongdoing in the Trump Foundation’s activities, Fahrenthold started digging deeper, going back to the 1980’s and beginning a Twitter search of the ages. His logic was that if Trump would pilfer almost $5 million while the national spotlight was on him, how much would he have stolen when there was no spotlight?
Specifically, the reporter examined old news clippings detailing Trump’s public statements, and compared them to tax filings from the Donald J. Trump Foundation. The two sources of information told two very different tales.
From the breaking story of December 29th, I quote, “In the news clippings you could see that Trump had repeatedly made public promises to donate to charity. In the 1980s, for instance, Trump had promised to give away $4 million from sales of his book “The Art of the Deal.” In more recent years, he said he would give away $2.5 million he made off “The Apprentice.” And donated the profits from Trump University. All told the pledges in those news clips made it seem that Trump had given away more than $12 million.
In more recent clippings, in fact, Trump’s presidential campaign staff said his actual giving had been far higher than that: ‘tens of millions” over his lifetime.
They showed the Trump Foundation-which Trump had set up to give away his own money-had received only a total of $5.5 million from Trump since 1987.”
Having been informed by Allen Weisselberg, the chief officer of Trump’s business, that the missing money had been given to other charities, but that they did not want to make them public because then it “caused a feeding frenzy” amongst others, the reporter started digging again.
He tweeted charities most likely to be targeted by the Trump Foundation, and started asking about contributions. He stopped after he had contacted 325 separate and distinct organizations and groups, without having found evidence of a single contribution.
In the years between 2009 and 2015, he could find only one example of money being donated: less than $10,000 to the Police Athletic League of New Your City.
That is a lot of missing money. Strike two.
The third damning piece of evidence against Trump, is that he used Trump Foundation money to purchase personal items, specifically two portraits of himself. The first was painted at a charity gala by a “speed painter,” who was entertainment at the affair, and the second was painted by Miami artist Havi Schanz.
In his attempt to track down the portraits, Fahrenhold’s twitter followers grew from 4,000 to more than 60,000, as he tried to discover the eventual whereabouts of the two portraits. Finally, he located the second one, a four-foot-high picture, on the wall of a Trump resort in Florida.
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Trump used $20,000 of Trump Foundation money to buy and hang a portrait of himself, on the wall of one of his resorts.
The man, in addition to being a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, inhumane bully, is also a criminal.
The link to Fahrenthold’s story is https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/david-fahrenthold-tells-the-behind-the-scenes-story-of-his-year-covering-trump/2016/12/27/299047c4-b510-11e6-b8df-600bd9d38a02_story.html?utm_term=.d0761c5c43d5
It is at least a fifteen-minute read, but it is fascinating, as true investigative thrillers always are, and it is the cement straw that will break this camel’s back.
And take the monkey off the back of America.