In wake of shooting, Trump gives $5,000 to Congressional baseball game charity

Hunter Walker
White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON — The organization that runs the congressional baseball game for charity said Thursday it had received $5,000 from President Trump, part of a $50,000 pledge administration officials made in the wake of an attack on the Republican team during a practice last month. The full amount of the pledge has apparently not been received yet.

Five people were injured in the shooting in Alexandria, Va., on June 14, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and two Capitol Hill police officers. The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, who was killed in a shootout with police, was the author of numerous social media posts criticizing the Trump administration and the Republican Party. Scalise is still recovering from his injuries and was readmitted to the intensive care unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Wednesday for treatment of an infection.

Following the shooting, the annual baseball game took on added significance. The game took place as scheduled on June 15, the next day, and one of the wounded officers threw out the first pitch. Trump recorded a video message that was played before the game, and a senior White House source told Yahoo News the president would make an unspecified donation to the charity in the days following the event. The source emphasized the White House was “not advertising the contribution or looking to receive credit for doing so.”

On the field before the game, Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin presented a large novelty check for $50,000 to the charity, which benefits several local causes including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the Washington Literacy Center. The check identified the donors as “Friends In the Trump Administration.” At the time, Cohn told Yahoo News the group gift came together after an email was sent around the White House on the morning of the game.

“A lot of leadership in the White House and some of the Cabinet members were involved,” Cohn said.

Cohn specifically mentioned, besides himself, Trump, his daughter Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, and Mnuchin. Trump is a real-estate developer who has claimed to be worth $10 billion. Forbes has reported Trump’s Cabinet “appears to be the richest in modern U.S. history,” with a combined estimated net worth of $4.3 billion. Cohn, who is not in the Cabinet, and Mnuchin are both former Goldman Sachs executives. Mnuchin’s net worth has been estimated by Forbes to be about $385 million. Cohn’s financial disclosures indicated he is worth between $252 and $611 million.

Over the next three weeks Yahoo News made several requests to the game’s organizers asking if the administration’s contributions had been received. On Wednesday, spokeswoman Julie Wadler said the charity expected to receive contributions, but the money had not come in yet.

“We anticipate receiving a contribution from Administration officials, but are not aware of the names of the actual donors or the final amount. We understand it should be arriving shortly,” Wadler said in an email.

Yahoo News sent two follow-up requests specifically asking whether the charity had received the promised $50,000 donation from the “Friends In the Trump Administration.”

Wadler responded on Thursday morning that “a good amount of the 50k is in,” directing us to the charity’s page on the online fundraising tool Crowdrise, which she said would list the donors.

“I would suggest you check out our crowdrise page. It has a scroll and your answer is obvious!” Wadler said.

Wadler noted her office was closed over the Independence Day holiday and said they “should have a lot of mail” on Thursday that could include additional gifts.

The $5,000 donation from Trump was posted on the charity’s Crowdrise page on Thursday morning after Yahoo News made its latest round of inquiries. As of 1 p.m. the site listed one other contribution from a prominent administration official. Reed Cordish, an assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives, made a $5,000 donation with his wife, Maggie, that Crowdrise identifies as having arrived “one week ago.”

Days after the game, the charity announced the game raised $1.5 million through donors and ticket sales. That was a record for the group.

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