Franklin Graham's Organizations Have Received Over $100,000 From Trump's Foundation
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For the better part of the year, Franklin Graham has been traveling America in a 50-state tour working feverishly to convince far right wing evangelical Christians to vote – not for any particular candidate, supposedly, but for their conscience. And apparently the son of Billy Graham, the televangelist who advised several presidents and was the face of Protestant Christianity for decades, has a surprisingly clear conscience himself, which should trouble his followers.
Despite promising to remain non-partisan, Graham has been indirectly pushing Christians to vote for Donald Trump through his many Facebook posts – he has over 4.5 million followers on the social media site – lauding the Republican nominee. Despite that, as recently as last week, Graham claimed, "We’re not telling you who to vote for, God can do that." But sometimes God needs a megaphone, right Rev. Graham?
Given that just a year ago Donald Trump had at best a poor relationship with the evangelical community, has demonstrated an utter inability to speak their language, and has apparent lack of desire to champion their main causes unless meeting with them face-to-face, it's curious why Franklin Graham would so adamantly push for a President Trump.
But as the billionaire real estate mogul himself often says on the campaign trail, follow the money.
RealClearPolitics did just that.
In 2011, laying the groundwork for his presidential campaign, Donald Trump started quietly making big money donations to influential evangelicals, especially in the South, from his Donald J. Trump Foundation.
A source who has ties to the Manhattan billionaire says Trump “was politically active starting in 2011,” and “started to make strategic donations,” RealClearPolitics reports.
"From 2011 through 2014, Trump harnessed his eponymous foundation to send at least $286,000 to influential conservative or policy groups, a RealClearPolitics review of the foundation’s tax filings found. In many cases, this flow of money corresponded to prime speaking slots or endorsements that aided Trump as he sought to recast himself as a plausible Republican candidate for president."
In 2012, Franklin Graham's Billy Graham Evangelistic Association received a $100,000 donation from Trump's Foundation. NBC News adds that Samaritan's Purse, Franklin Graham's Christian relief group, "got $25,000 the same year" from the Trump Foundation.
"Trump and Graham would later come together on the campaign trail, with the latter helping to shore up evangelical support at a pastors' meeting earlier this year, and while touring Louisiana with Samaritan's after devastating flooding wrecked havoc on the state," NBC News reports.
"I appreciate very much Donald Trump and Mike Pence coming down," Graham had told reporters. "That put a spotlight…on the suffering of these people."
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins was also on hand that day, traveling with Trump and Graham. And Trump, or his foundation, gave Perkins a $100,000 check that week, purportedly for his Baptist church.
It does not appear that Franklin Graham, in his frequent Facebook posts and speeches that support Trump or attack Clinton, makes the donations from Trump's foundation clear.
"Graham should have been more forthcoming with Trump's donations to his groups with the same eagerness he attacks the transgender community," Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters' Alvin McEwen notes, referring to Graham's recent heightened attacks against transgender Americans. "He would still be a nasty demagogue, but at least he wouldn't be a hypocrite."
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