Trump Foundation Says It Will Dissolve, as President Promised

Updated on
  • Laura Perlmutter and Phil Ruffin gave it $1 million last year
  • Foundation contributed more than $3 million to other charities

U.S. President Donald Trump 

Photographer: Martin H. Simon/Pool via Bloomberg

President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation said in a tax filing that it intends to dissolve, as Trump promised it would last December to avoid conflicts of interest.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation said in its annual tax return for 2016 that it raised $2.9 million over the course of the year and gave away $3.1 million, much of it to veterans’ organizations. It received a $1 million donation from Laura Perlmutter, the wife of Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter, a prominent Trump supporter, and another from casino magnate Phil Ruffin. Ivanka Trump gave her father’s foundation $100,000.

The foundation said in a statement attached to the return that it has “announced its intent to dissolve and is seeking approval to distribute its remaining funds to highly qualified and important section 501(c)(3) charities.” It didn’t say when it would close or set a deadline to distribute its assets.

The tax filing was due to the Internal Revenue Service on Nov. 15 and was made public on Monday by the website Guidestar.org, which collects the documents after they’re filed by nonprofit organizations. NBC News reported the filing earlier.

The White House didn’t immediately respond. Trump said as president-elect in December that he would close the foundation, which was the subject of a serious of critical reports in 2016 by the Washington Post that won the Pulitzer Prize. The foundation’s practices drew the scrutiny of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who ordered it to cease fundraising in October 2016 until it obtained state licensing.

Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, said the investigation of the foundation “remains ongoing” and fundraising activities remain suspended following the attorney general’s notice of violation last year. The foundation “cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” Spitalnick said in an emailed statement.

Trump said last year that the foundation “has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children.”

“However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways,” he said then.

— With assistance by Justin Sink

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