Eric Trump ends fundraising for foundation that benefits St. Jude Children’s Hospital

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s sons will stop raising money for his foundation, which gives money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis because donations could be perceived as buying access to his father, reports the Associated Press.

Eric Trump said Wednesday that it pained him to cease soliciting donations for his organization, which he says has raised more than $15 million for children terminally ill with cancer…. (T)he younger of the president-elect’s two adult sons, has raised enough money over the last decade to fund a new intensive care unit at St. Jude, which provides free medical care for children.

Eric Trump said he will likely wind down the Eric Trump Foundation — which had just one employee — but plans to continue public advocacy against childhood cancer. About $5 million of a $20 million, 10-year commitment to St. Jude remains outstanding, money that likely will be raised by donations from patrons at Trump-owned hotels and golf courses.

… The Kay Research Care Center’s 328,000 square feet at St. Jude includes the Eric Trump Foundation Surgery and ICU Center. The Eric Trump Foundation’s total commitment to St. Jude was to $28 million since 2006, including the $5 million outstanding.

… “Fighting childhood cancer is a cause that has been central to my life since I was 21 years old,” Eric Trump told The Associated Press. “It’s an extremely sad day when doing the right thing isn’t the right thing. That said, raising awareness for the cause will be a lifelong mission for me.”

… Eric Trump’s foundation scuttled a plan to raise money for the children’s hospital through an online auction for coffee with his sister Ivanka Trump, who is considering joining the White House in some capacity. (Note: Previous post HERE.) And Eric and Donald Trump Jr. backed away from an inauguration event that aimed to raise money for conservation charities.

They were named as directors along with two of their friends in a new Texas-based nonprofit that had considered offering $1 million donors the chance to rub elbows with the new president at a “Camouflage & Cufflinks” ball in Washington the day after Trump’s swearing-in. The nonprofit also proposed allowing some donors to join one or both of the sons on a hunting or fishing trip.

UPDATE/Note: Trump apparently wasn’t happy with the move. His tweet, as reported by CNN:

“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!”

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