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Trump Used Foundation Money to Lay Groundwork for Campaign: Report

According to new reports, Donald Trump used Trump Foundation funds to lay the groundwork for his presidential campaign.

The Hill reports:

The analysis of Trump Foundation filings showed that from 2011 to 2014, the real estate mogul gave $286,000 to “influential conservative or policy groups.”

The contributions may run afoul of IRS laws prohibiting charity executives from using a group’s funds to their own benefit.

The Washington Post has reported on a number of similar cases of possible self-dealing involving the Trump Foundation, which on Friday was ordered to stop receiving public donations by the New York attorney general.

One conservative activist, Oran Smith of South Carolina, told RealClearPolitics that his nonprofit received $10,000 from the Trump Foundation after he met with the real estate mogul to discuss his conservative issues in 2011, when Trump was hinting at running for president.

“It probably had something to do with, I was in an early primary state,” Smith said of the meeting, adding that Trump was “laying the foundation for a … campaign.”

A number of the conservative organizations that Trump contributed to using his charity’s funds invited the mogul to speak at their high-profile events.

Last month, CNN reported that most of the foundation’s money has come from outside donors in recent years and that Trump has not contributed any of his own money since 2008.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr.

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