Quote of the Day: Nothing in Writing, Please

Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

From a Palm Beach Post story by Christine Stapleton and Lawrence Mower about Donald Trump’s purchase of Mar-a-Lago in the early 90s:

Trump’s promise couldn’t be in writing, Trump attorney Rampell told the council, according to meeting minutes and transcripts. If the council insisted Trump’s commitment be in writing, his donation might be disqualified by the IRS as a charitable contribution.

The backstory here is that the city of Palm Beach wasn’t happy with Trump’s plans for preserving the Mar-a-Lago estate. So Trump’s lawyers proposed a deal: if the city council approved Trump’s plan to create a private club, Trump would turn over much of the interior of the mansion to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. But the deal had to be under the table. Trump wanted a tax deduction for his charitable contribution to the NTHP, and it’s not charitable if it’s done in return for something, is it?

So, wink wink nudge nudge, and the deal went through. But there was never any paper trail, so the IRS approved the charitable deduction. Life is good when you’re a millionaire.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate