Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Franklin Graham caught up in Trump Foundation controversy

Franklin Graham
Recently on his Facebook page, Franklin Graham took it upon himself to castigate the media about Trump's unreleased tax returns. He claimed that there are more pressing issues they should be concerned about . . . like the transgender community:

The media keeps talking about it, but to be honest with you, nobody gives a rip about Donald J. Trump’s taxes. What people do care about is their own taxes. And when I read about the government spending $8.4 million of taxpayers’ money a year—starting today—for things like gender reassignment and hormone therapy for military personnel, I’m disgusted! Aren’t you? This is the kind of immoral garbage President Obama and his administration are allowing to be put in place in our country. $8.4 million a year—with all the things our military needs—can you believe that? Things like this need to be stopped. It just shows you how morally warped our politicians have become.

Graham has long used his Facebook page as if he was God delivering  messages from a high mountain. However, this time he probably should have kept his mouth shut.

According to a recent article by NBC News, Trump used his own charitable foundation to give money to several conservative groups who helped him raise his profile in anticipation for his run for president. The Trump Foundation is already facing scrutiny for a myriad of unethical and possibly illegal activity. On Monday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered the charity to stop fundraising in the state after reports that it had not submitted to routine audits.

According to the NBC News article:

The foundation, which Trump initially financed with his own money but has been funded by outside donors since 2008, gave $286,000 to prominent conservative groups that were important players on the road to the GOP nomination, according to tax filings first reported by RealClearPolitics. The groups included Iowa's Family Leader, South Carolina Palmetto Family Council, the American Conservatives Union and Citizens United.

Together, the donations paint a picture of the wealthy businessman using charity-earmarked money to build relationships with conservative activists in early voting states. There are laws prohibiting self-dealing that would bar these kinds of donations if they were solely for Trump's personal benefit, but there's nothing stopping Trump from donating to these groups as a charitable act — even if it does grease the wheels of his presidential bid along the way. 

And Franklin Graham:

Though Evangelical Rev. Franklin Graham is not endorsing a candidate, he was an early ally of Trump — and his charities reaped the benefits, too. "The more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, 'You know, maybe the guy's right,'" Graham told ABC News in 2011.

The organization named for his father, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, got a $100,000 check a year later in 2012, while Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief group, got $25,000 the same year. 

Graham should have been more forthcoming with Trump's donations to his groups with the same  eagerness  he attacks the transgender community. He would still be a nasty demagogue, but at least he wouldn't be a hypocrite.