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Trump Defends Foundation, Hits Media

President-elect Donald Trump defended the Donald J. Trump Foundation on Monday and slammed the media for vilifying him.

The Hill reports:

On Saturday, the president-elect said he would dissolve the foundation amid mounting scrutiny over potential conflicts of interest with his business holdings.

Trump said he was dissolving the charity to avoid the appearance of having a conflict of interest, though he has previously said that he would be legally immune from such conflicts as president.

“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,” Trump said Saturday.

The foundation is been the subject of an investigation by the New York attorney general’s office, based on Washington Post reports that the charity’s funds may have been used to personally benefit Trump. The Post investigation revealed that Trump had not given the charity any of his own money in a number of years and that he used its funds to buy portraits of himself and other memorabilia.

The foundation was also fined by the IRS for making a political donation of $25,000 in support of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi — a violation of rules governing the use of charity funds.

Bondi later declined to pursue an investigation into the now-defunct Trump University and is now serving on the Trump transition’s executive committee.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said Saturday that the charitable endeavor can’t cease operations until its investigation is complete.

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