Here's Why a Florida Dog Rescue Charity Might Spell Trouble for Lara Trump

Abigail Covington
·2-min read
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla - Getty Images

From Esquire

According to an investigation by Huffington Post reporter S.V. Date, a dog rescue charity linked to Lara Trump has spent nearly 2 million dollars at various Trump properties over the last several years and dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on a fundraising event on Saturday. A permit filed with the town of Palm Beach, Florida, reveals Big Dog Ranch Rescue’s Saturday fundraiser at Mar-A-Lago cost nearly $225,000. As Date points out in his article, that money ends up directly in former president Trump’s hands.

And speaking of the former president, Trump dropped by the fundraiser to quickly endorse the idea of his daughter-in-law running for senate in 2022. “I didn’t exactly prepare for this, but I was walking by, and I heard everybody screaming,” Trump said. “I want to thank Lara who has been so incredible — and I dunno, are you running for the Senate? I hear she’s going to run for the Senate!”

Trump’s question was a reference to recent speculation that Lara Trump, wife of the former president’s son Eric, might try and take over Sen. Richard Burr’s role as North Carolina senator after he retires in 2022. In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Lara Trump confirmed she was considering a political campaign but didn’t provide additional details. “But I will tell you, stay tuned, because it is certainly something that I would be honoured to do,” the former Trump aide said.

But before she officially throws her hat in the ring, Lara Trump might want to explain her work with Big Dog Ranch Rescue to the American people. IRS filings for the non-profit list Lara Trump as a chairwoman for charity events starting in 2018, and Lauren Simmons, the organisation’s president, visited the White House in 2019 for the signing of a bill addressing animal cruelty. Simmons is an ardent Trump supporter who repeatedly posted on social media in support of Trump’s “stop the steal” campaign.

Mixing politics and charity is risky business. By choosing to host multiple fundraising events at Trump-linked properties, Lara Trump is funnelling money into companies that she has a vested interest in. That kind of self-dealing is reflective of the practices of the former Trump Foundation which was forced to shut down after an investigation into the charity by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood discovered it was engaging in “a shocking pattern of illegality” including “unlawfully coordinating with Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.”

You Might Also Like