give and take
October 26, 2020

If President Trump were looking for a little last-minute boost from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Putin had nothing for him on Sunday. In televised remarks on state TV, Putin "took the time to knock down what he made clear he regarded as false allegations from Trump about the Bidens," Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Reuters reports. Putin said Trump's story about Hunter Biden getting money from the widow of a former Moscow mayor was news to him, even though Trump tried to tie Putin to the alleged payment.

In Ukraine, Putin said, Hunter Biden "had or maybe still has a business, I don't know. It doesn't concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians." And regarding the money Hunter Biden made working for a Ukrainian company, he added, "I don't see anything criminal about this, at least we don't know anything about this (being criminal)."

U.S. intelligence has determined that Russia is secretly working to boost Trump and damage Biden in the 2020 race, much as Russian intelligence boosted Trump and damaged Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. But with Biden leading substantially in the polls, Russian state TV has started mocking Trump as Putin's poodle while Putin has started saying a few positive things about Biden. Biden isn't reciprocating, telling 60 Minutes on Sunday's broadcast that Russia is America's biggest threat but China is its top adversary.

Trump's Hunter Biden allegations are probably too little, too late, and too tame anyway, even if they were true, anti-Trump GOP strategist Mike Madrid tells Politico. "Whatever October surprise or whatever money he's got, he needed to spend yesterday," he said. "He's got a bigger time problem than a money problem and he's got a huge money problem. It's time. He's running out of time." Peter Weber

October 18, 2017

The Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles used to claim it had contributed $5 million to charity. Then NPR started asking questions.

Just a few months ago, a philanthropy page on the Southern California club's website listed about 200 nonprofit groups, saying it had given them a total of about $5 million. Now, that page has been stripped of all those claims.

The redaction came soon after NPR started questioning the club's charitable giving. So far, NPR has only been able account for $800,000 of the supposed $5 million in donations, and 17 of the listed charities had no record of contributions from the club at all.

A producer from NPR's Embedded podcast discussed the team's findings on Wednesday's Morning Edition program:

The Embedded team cross-referenced the list on the golf club's website with a publicly available list the Trump campaign put out detailing donations it had made over the years. Several organizations on the website weren't on the campaign's list, and upon calling these organizations, NPR found they had no record of Trump National donations on the books.

Need a little more proof of Trump National's backtracking? You can still see the $5 million claim if you hover over the "About" tab on its website. Kathryn Krawczyk

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