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News

Oxfam Rents Trump’s Childhood Home to Refugees

In a Tudor-style home in Queens, New York, Donald Trump spent his earliest years. Today, an anonymous owner rents it out through AirBnB for $750 a night. Apparently, that’s what people pay to stay in an awkwardly-decorated house with a picture of 45 on each wall. The owner, who bought it in March of this year, paid $2.14 million for it, even though the Trump family moved out in 1950 and the current president, who was 4 at the time, probably doesn’t even remember the house.

Even so, it seemed like the right setting for charity Oxfam to make a point. They rented the house for a night, and donated the stay to four resettled refugees: Ghassan Shehadeh (Syria), Uyen Nguyen (Vietnam), Abdi Iftin (Somalia), and Eiman Ali (Somalia).

Three of those four come from countries from which Donald Trump tried to ban refugees.

In a statement, Oxfam said that by bringing the refugees to Trump’s own former home, they are sending a message.

“In the coming weeks, President Trump will announce his decision on the number of refugees the US will resettle in 2018,” the organization said in a statement. “Congress will finalize spending bills, which determine the level of financial support the federal government will dedicate to aiding and resettling refugees. And the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the president’s unconstitutional refugee and Muslim ban.”

According to the UN, this is the era of the highest levels of displacement ever known. There are more refugees worldwide than ever before, and Trump’s stated intentions are to shut our doors tighter than any time since the end of the Vietnam war.

The arranged stay’s message is clear: these people are not abstract numbers. They are individuals, they are closer than we know, and we have a responsibility to open our doors.

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Donation News

Trump Could Face Charges for His Falsified Donations

Photo credit: Andrew Cline / Shutterstock.com

Lying about charity isn’t an ethical or nice thing to do. Saying that you’ve donated money to a cause, when you really haven’t, might sound like a little white lie, but the act of donating is seen as a social good. It’s something that people can look at and judge you as a good member of society. It’s great if it’s true, but if you’re lying about your charitable works, then you’re gaining good press for something you never did, which is unethical at the very least.

It may also be illegal in some cases. Donald Trump has appeared in the press numerous times over the course of this bid for the 2016 presidential election precisely because its become apparent that he isn’t honest about his donations. He has routinely claimed that he would donate the proceeds from various products, like his recent book, “university,” or vodk to charity. But it keeps coming back that those claims aren’t true, and that money isn’t going to charity. He’s just been using the promise of donations to entice people to buy his products.

So a number of experts have been trying to get New York Attorney General Eric Schneidermann to press charges against Trump for deceptive business practices. The Attorney General has not moved on these accusations, nor commented on whether he will, but the office is aware of the allegations.

It certainly seems like a valuable use of the Attorney General’s time. Fraud is fraud, regardless of who commits it, and it’s obvious that Trump has lied, time and time again, about his “charitable work.” But he hasn’t just used these lies to build his image as he has also used them to trick people into buying his products, and that’s not something we should let slide.

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News

Trump Finally Gives Away the Money He “Donated” In January

Photo credit: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Back in January, instead of attending a debate, Donald Trump held a fundraiser for veterans’ charities. Supposedly, it raised about $6 dollars, with Trump having donated $1 million himself, though until very recently, most of that money had yet to be given to any charities.

Trump’s campaign manager claimed that the money the Republican candidate donated had already been withdrawn and distributed, and that the process would be complete by Memorial Day, but Trump himself has said that he doesn’t know how his campaign manager would know that. Instead, he finally did donate $1 million on May 23rd, to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which helps children of fallen marines and law enforcement officers.

According to Trump, it took so long because “you have a lot of vetting to do” when you donate. That’s actually good advice, and something that donors and nonprofit groups know well, except it doesn’t mesh with the fact that the Donald J. Trump Foundation already donated over $230,000 to that group. So did the Foundation not do a good enough job of vetting them, or is that just an excuse Trump made to avoid admitting that he never planned on actually donating any money in the first place?

The whole issue seems like just another example of Trump grasping for publicity. It’s become clear in the last few months that he is not a generous man, and that most of the “donations” he has made over the years weren’t really donations in the first place, but instead free golf games and the like.

It’s good that a charity finally did get the money Trump pledged, four months later, but some of that money is still unaccounted for, which is pretty amazing considering just how long four months is, and that he already has a foundation, named after him, which could have handled the actual donations in a few days or so.