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EXCLUSIVE: Melania Trump’s BeBest fundraiser ends in failure after official scrutiny

EXCLUSIVE: Melania Trump’s BeBest fundraiser ends in failure after official scrutiny

Melania Trump's BeBest fundraiser ends in failure after official scrutiny

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The spokeswoman for the agency in charge of Florida’s charity regulator just informed Occupy Democrats exclusively that Melania Trump’s “exclusive high tea” BeBest charity fundraising party has been scrapped in the wake of official scrutiny. It will not take place on April 9th as originally planned.

It’s a very public failure for her BeBest initiative.

Two and a half weeks ago, news broke that the former First Lady’s fundraising event was purportedly to raise money for a BeBest initiative charity named “Fostering the Future” with tickets as expensive as $50,000 and a state of Florida investigation into the event, according to a New York Times expose.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ strategic communications officer Erin Moffett responded to our request for comment today to say that Whip Fundraising, the organization that was actually running the event for Trump, is about to complete its registration process with the state as a result of its investigation. Their website is no longer public, but an archived version shows unverified claims about raising millions for charities.

Furthermore, Moffett says that a new and different charity named Generation Justice Inc. stepped in to be the properly registered charitable beneficiary of Melania Trump’s BeBest fundraising efforts. Once registered, Whip Fundraising plans to associate itself with Generation Justice. Her office plans to issue an official statement later today about the matter.

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That information is contrary to Trump’s public statements and the press release announcing the event, which was named “Tulips and Topiaries.” The BeBest announcement said:

As part of Mrs. Trump’s Be Best initiative, Fostering the Future aims to support foster children. Specifically, it will grant computer science scholarships to those aging out of the foster care system, thus giving foster children the ability to reach their full potential.

This isn’t the Trump family’s first foray with state regulators over charity fundraising problems. The former president paid a hefty $2 million fine for admitting to 19 violations of the law in a settlement with New York’s Attorney General dissolving the Trump Foundation. Donald Trump admitted to personal misuse of funds along with an agreement to restrict his involvement in charitable “service” in the future while in the Oval Office.

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When People Magazine and others reported that the former First Lady raised money for a charity that did not exist, she posted an indignant tweet denying everything by claiming she worked with an advisory firm.

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Today, the investigation into Melania Trump’s BeBest event by Florida officials is fully confirmed, and her “exclusive high tea” event has been shelved for at least the time being.

Occupy Democrats is awaiting the results of public records request with Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on this matter which is pending and will bring even more clarity to this story which is breaking and may be updated.

Vinnie Longobardo contributed to this reporting.

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Grant Stern
is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.

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