President-elect Donald Trump lashed out early Friday following son Eric’s decision to halt fundraising activities for his charitable foundation amid concerns donors could seek influence with the new administration.
“My wonderful son, Eric, will no longer be allowed to raise money for children with cancer because of a possible conflict of interest with … my presidency,” Trump tweeted. “Isn’t this a ridiculous shame? He loves these kids, has raised millions of dollars for them, and now must stop. Wrong answer!”
The verified Eric Trump Foundation account retweeted the President-elect’s comments later in the morning, but has not commented further.
Eric Trump emailed the Washington Post on Thursday to say, “No new money will come into the (Eric Trump Foundation) bank account.”
In an earlier statement, the foundation said Eric Trump “started his work with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the age of 21 the foundation has donated over $15 million and among many other things has completely funded the most cutting edge state-of-the-art ICU dedicated to children anywhere in the world.”
Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, is one of its board members.
Earlier in the week, Eric Trump in an interview with The New York Times said he would cease personally soliciting donations for his namesake foundation.
“As unfortunate as it is, I understand the quagmire,” he said. “You do a good thing that backfires.”
The decision was made amid a recent swirl of controversy kicked off by a solicitation posted on December 6, when the foundation’s Twitter account asked followers to “Click Here to Bid on a Private Coffee with Ivanka Trump in NYC or DC to benefit The @EricTrumpFdn for @StJude!”
Concern about potential impropriety — or the appearance that White House influence could be for sale — grew over the following days, as Eric Trump and his brother Donald Trump Jr. were listed as “honorary co-chairmen” of a conservation charity event that initially offered access to the President-elect.