Donald Trump’s Inaugural Team Fails to Deliver Charitable Donations as Promised

So far, only leftover cash donated was toward renovating the White House and Naval Observatory, Associated Press reports

Last Updated: September 17, 2017 @ 11:23 AM

When President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised an unprecedented $107 million for what they dubbed a “workmanlike” inauguration, it promised to give leftover funds to charity. But so far they haven’t.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Trump’s inaugural team is months behind other administrations, and may not have completed an external audit of its finances eight months after the ceremonies took place.

Tom Barrack, chairman of the private Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in a statement that the donations would come sometime in late November, when the committee publicly disclosed its finances.

The AP spoke with eight people involved in the event’s planning as well as fundraising for the celebration, who described a chaotic process made worse by last-minute decisions and little financial oversight.

“The thing about inaugural expenses, they’re not complicated,” Steve Kerrigan, head of President Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural committee, told AP. “You take money in, you pay it out, and then you know what you’re left with when it’s done.”

Among the more questionable items on the inaugural expense list: A pre-inaugural concert featuring Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down, which cost $25 million, five times more than the 2009 Obama inauguration concert with Beyonce, U2 and Bruce Springsteen.

“I couldn’t tell you how we possibly could have spent $25 million on a concert,” Steve Kerrigan, head of President Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural committee said when showed the figures.

Trump’s inauguration planning came under fire last year when it became clear that the committee would not put limits on individual donations, as was the custom for both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush.

In the face of criticism, Trump’s team promised to hold a low-key event, giving what ever money was left to charity. But so far, the only leftover cash given was toward renovating the White House and Naval Observatory, a spokesperson for First Lady Melania Trump, told the AP.

Trump has had a spotty record when it comes to his charitable donations. In Jan. 2016, then-candidate Trump announced he was giving $1 million to veteran groups, but it was only after reporters pressed him that the money was eventually doled out.

Barrack told the AP in a recent statement that donations from the 2017 committee “surely will exceed any previous inauguration” and praised the high amount of money the committee was able to raise. He said the committee would publicly disclose financial details at the end of November.

“Our ability to raise more private funding than any inaugural committee before is a tribute to the generosity of the American people and their excitement to ‘make America great again,'” Barrack said earlier in September.

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