Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has many tremendous friends. Tom Brady of the Patriots is a tremendous friend. And maybe Tim Tebow is a tremendous friend too, because The Donald spent, according to the Washington Post, $12,000 of his foundation’s money on a Tebow Broncos helmet and jersey several years ago.
The original story actually comes from the Palm Beach Daily News, which wrote about a Susan B. Komen charity auction back in 2012.
During the first dinner course — the club's trademark lump crabmeat timbale -- Tom Quick conducted the live auction, which included the surprise additions of four tickets for Celine Dion's upcoming concert at The Mar-a-Lago Club, donated by Donald Trump, and an autographed Tim Tebow helmet, which sold to Donald Trump for $12,000 at the very moment that Tebow was having his halo hammered by Tom Brady.
The Donald giveth, and The Donald payeth. Blessed be the name of The Donald.
Indeed. Twelve large for a Tebow helmet ain’t nothing to sneeze at, even during the height of Tebow's powers -- this was in late January 2012, shortly after Tebow and the Broncos stunned the Steelers with a walk-off touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.
But as noted, it was also during the 45-10 drubbing the Patriots put on the Broncos the next week.
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Fast forward to today and the Washington Post digging through Trump's charitable giving history. What the newspaper found was Trump paid the Komen through another non-profit organization, the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Which, depending on what Trump did with the helmet and jersey, could be considered an IRS violation.
Afterward, three experts on tax law questioned whether Trump had violated IRS rules against “self-dealing" -- which are designed to keep nonprofit officials from using their charities to help themselves.
Those rules ban the "furnishing of goods" by private foundations -- like Trump's -- to their own officers. If the rule is broken, the person who breaks it must notify the IRS and may have to pay a tax penalty. There could also be penalties for signing a tax return that failed to mention the violation. In 2012, the tax return for Trump’s foundation checked the boxes for "no," it did not break the self-dealing rule.
The Trump camp did not provide a comment to the Washington Post concerning the whereabouts of the helmet and jersey.
According to the Post's experts, simply giving them away to another charity would meet any qualifications needed in order to make this point null and void.
It would also be a net loss regardless: Tebow Broncos gear is pretty much worthless at this point, even if it’s autographed. [What an eye for deals! that depreciate]
The idea of jumping down someone's throat over getting burnt on a $12,000 purchase of a helmet and jersey (now valued at less than $500) is pretty crazy. Such is life in the spotlight for presidential candidates.