In 2008, at a gala hosted by Gucci benefiting Madonna’s charity, Donald Trump paid $120,000 for a tour of a France’s Chateau Latour vineyard. As auctioneer Chris Rock described, the tour would include a lunch with “Salma Hayek and her breasts.” According to BuzzFeed News, however, not only did Trump use other people’s money to pay for the trip, he never even went on it.
The money Trump spent came from his foundation, to which he had donated just $30,000 that year. The Trump Foundation’s largest donor that year was the Willard T.C. Johnson Foundation, which gave a quarter-million dollars. BuzzFeed reports:
The trip reportedly included a tour of the famed Chataeu Latour vineyard and a meal with actor Salma Hayek and her husband, the French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, whose family owns the vineyard.
Trump himself didn’t go on the trip, an aide told BuzzFeed News, but said that she did not know what became of the auction prize. Asked if it had been given to someone else, she reiterated that she didn’t know.
Tax experts contacted by BuzzFeed News said that even if Trump gave the trip to a family member or friend, Trump would have had to report the trip on his foundation’s IRS tax forms. Those forms, however do not report any such transactions. IRS rules require nonprofits to report any “self-dealing” — using their money to furnish their executives with money or other benefits.
The Trump Foundation’s tax form from 2008 notes a $107,000 “charitable contribution” to the Gucci Foundation; meanwhile, the Gucci Foundation’s tax form shows a $145,000 donation from the Trump Foundation. The Trump Foundation’s tax form does not include any “self-dealing” disclosures.
Not sure which is the bigger waste of money, honestly.