Friday 24 November 2017

Eric Trump responds to explosive claims his family 'profited from children's cancer charity'

Mr Trump's second son has blamed an absence of 'morals'

Eric Trump has hit out at critics of his father Donald (Evan Vucci/AP)
Eric Trump has hit out at critics of his father Donald (Evan Vucci/AP)

Andrew Buncombe

Eric Trump has hit back at allegations that his father took money intended for childhood cancer research and poured them into his own businesses by charging his son to hold charity events at a family-owned golf course.

Donald Trump’s second oldest son has found himself at the centre of a new controversy after it was reported that the Eric Trump Foundation paid the Trump Organisation - the group which holds the President’s business interests around the world - more than $1.2m (€1.07m) over six years to use its properties. He said he was being “attacked [because] morality is just gone”.

Eric Trump has raised more than $11m (€9.8m) over 10 years for the St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, largely by hosting golf tournaments through his Eric Trump Foundation, Forbes reported. He has raised a further $5m (€4.5m) with other groups.

The events have included a regular date at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, for which guests were charged thousands of dollars for tickets. Eric Trump has said use of the family property meant almost all the donations made it to the hospital, which is a centre for cancer research.

But according to an analysis by Forbes of financial documents, the Trump Organisation billed the foundation for hundreds of thousands of dollars, sums that reached up to $322,000 (€286.8) in 2015.

The Trump Organisation has denied that it did anything wrong.

“During the past decade, the Eric Trump Foundation has raised over $16.3m (€14.52) for St Jude Children,” it said in a statement.

“The Eric Trump Foundation was also responsible for building a $20m (€17.8m) [intensive care unit] which treats the sickest children anywhere in the world suffering from the most catastrophic terminal illnesses.

“Contrary to recent reports, at no time did the Trump Organisation profit in any way from the foundation or any of its activities.”

Appearing on Fox News, Mr Trump, 33, who with his elder brother Donald Trump Jr has been heading the Trump Organisation after their father assumed the presidency, dismissed the Forbes report and said he was being attacked because “morality is just gone”.

Speaking to Sean Hannity, a veteran Fox News anchor known for his staunchly conservative views and one of the President’s most strident supporters, he said: “I have raised $16.3m for the greatest hospital in the world, that’s St Jude, and I get attacked for it. Barron gets attacked.

“People come out, they look at my wife. ‘Well, I hope she, you know, I hope the kid is aborted because God forbid there is another Trump in the world’. I mean, the manners, the lack of morals in society is awful."

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