Report suggests Lara Trump-linked charity funneled money directly to Trump properties, including Mar-a-Lago

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Over the last seven years, a Florida dog rescue charity that has ties to Lara Trump has spent nearly $2 million at properties belonging to former President Donald Trump and by next week is expected to have dropped an extra $225,000 at his Mar-a-Lago club.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue filed a permit with the town of Palm Beach, Florida, saying it would spend a quarter of a million dollars at Mar-a-Lago, where Trump has been residing since his departure from the White House in January. Every bit of the profit from that money goes directly to the former president.

Flickr / Gage Skidmore / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

According to the Internal Revenue Service, since 2014, the dog rescue charity has given around $1,883,160 on fundraising costs at Trump properties, including Mar-a-Lago and a golf course 18 miles away. Beginning in 2018. Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Trump, has been listed as the chairwoman for charity events. The charity’s president, Lauren Simmons, was a guest at the White House in 2019 when a bill addressing animal cruelty was signed.

Simmons has defended her relationship with Lara Trump in a statement:

Flickr / Gage Skidmore / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

“The quality of service, beauty of the venue and excellent rate provided us as a nonprofit as well as the generosity of supporters who sell-out our event there every year allows us to rescue and home thousands of dogs. Our investment there and at the other venues mentioned in the article has netted more than $12 million over an eight-year period which allows us to continue our mission.”

Simmons did not, however, respond to questions about why she would continue to pad the pockets of a president who had tried to overturn an election which he falsely claimed was stolen from him through fraud, and whose incitement of a march on the Capitol led to a deadly siege which left hundreds injured and 6 people dead.

Flickr / Gage Skidmore / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The group’s spokesman Chase Scott has since said that whatever political views held by Simmons were beside the point. He said, “The sole objective of our fundraisers is to raise as much money as possible to save as many lives as possible. Politics play zero role within our organization and to infer they do does a disservice to the many who work and volunteer with a passion to heal and home our beloved dogs.”

Since the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, many businesses have cut all ties to Trump, who asked his supporters to come to Washington, D.C., on the day Congress was set to certify the Electoral College votes. He then went on to encourage them to march to the Capitol, even calling to pressure VP Mike Pence into violating the Constitution in order to overturn the election results so Trump could serve another term.

Flickr / Gage Skidmore / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Simmons, however, has been seen on social media making posts in support of “stop the steal,” which is a phrase adopted by Trump supporters who firmly believed his false claims of widespread voter fraud. Simmons shared a post on Jan. 3 stating: “Either we TAKE power back or we will never be free again. No more asking nicely.”

In 2017, after Trump had made controversial remarks in support and praise of the racist, anti-Semitic protesters in Charlottesville, Va., the charity refrained from using Mar-a-Lago but by 2018 they were back to hosting fundraising events there, even as other charities had shunned Trump properties on principle.

The post Report suggests Lara Trump-linked charity funneled money directly to Trump properties, including Mar-a-Lago first appeared on TPL News.



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