Donald Trump vowed to dissolve his charitable foundation in a statement issued on Saturday, December 24, in response to continued concerns over the organization’s many controversies and potential conflicts of interest.
“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,” the President-elect said in a statement issued by his transition team. “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.”
The 70-year-old real estate mogul did not offer a timeline as to when the foundation would officially be shut down, but he did mention that his attorney is taking the steps necessary to close the charity. At present, the Donald J. Trump Foundation is under investigation for improper use of the funds raised by the non-profit, including claims that the mogul used the charity’s money to settle lawsuits surrounding his for-profit businesses.
Donald Trump at Trump Golf Links Ferry Point on July 6, 2015 in New York City.
“I am very proud of the money that has been raised for many organizations in need, and I am also very proud of the fact that the Foundation has operated at essentially no cost for decades, with 100% of the money going to charity, but because I will be devoting so much time and energy to the Presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world, I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest,” the statement continued.
One huge issue that Trump will face in trying to dissolve his charitable organization, however, is that he cannot yet legally do so. According to New York Attorney General spokesperson Amy Spitalnick, “The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete.”
As part of the organization’s ongoing investigation, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office ordered in October that the Foundation “immediately cease soliciting contributions.” Trump himself has not donated to the foundation since 2008, but according to NBC News, it has received tens of millions of dollars over the past 10 years.
The former Apprentice host has faced a number of other issues regarding his business dealings since winning the election in November. Most recently, his son Eric vowed to stop directly raising funds for his own charitable organization because to do so would have been a conflict of interest.
“My wonderful son, Eric, will no longer be allowed to raise money for children with cancer because of a possible conflict of interest with my presidency,” Trump tweeted on Friday, December 23. “Isn’t this a ridiculous shame? He loves these kids, has raised millions of dollars for them, and now must stop. Wrong answer!”