While mainstream media is busy lobbing volleys at Donald Trump, including a claim that he’s not all that generous, people who know him have been standing up for him. Tony Senecal, who was Trump’s butler for 16 years. called his former boss “incredibly generous.”
— enVolve (@en_volve) June 7, 2016
Even a fellow New Yorker has spoken up about Trump’s generosity:
— laura e. flannery (@fishergirlusmc) June 22, 2016
All these comments about his generosity are great, but what specifically has Donald Trump done that’s really generous?
1. Helped US Marine Jailed in Mexico
When Marine Andrew Tahmooressi accidentally strayed into Mexico with U.S.-registered guns, he was jailed. HNGN reports that Trump helped Tahmooressi with a check for $25,000 after he was released:
“I hope the lawyers don’t take it all… I really want this money to go to him, not to his lawyers,” Trump told Van Susteren last year, according to Western Journalism. “Because I don’t know what kind of a job the lawyers did. It took them a hell of a long time to get him out.”
Trump said he was inspired to send the money after watching an interview between Van Susteren and Tahmooressi.
“I watched your interview… I felt very badly in watching him,” Trump said. “He suffered greatly and I think that this $25,000 will be the beginning of getting somebody who’s a good person back with his life and onto a hopefully much better life than he’s had.”
2. Donated $100,000 to World Trade Center Memorial
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2016
After he and his wife Melania toured the World Trade Center Memorial in April, Trump donated $100,000 to the facility. This was verified by NBC News. Trump told Judge Jeanine Pirro that one of the reasons for his visit to the museum was comments made about “New York Values” during the primary:
“I just felt like doing it because I heard [Ted Cruz] disparaging New York,” Trump said. “I’d seen it earlier, when it (the memorial museum) was under very early construction, and I wanted to see how it came out. They’ve done an amazing job.”
3. Sent Plane to Pick Up Sick Child Airlines Refused to Transport
https://t.co/OPLZSs9lph Have you ever chartered a plane to help a sick child?
— bob- O (@bobbychaconjr1) June 28, 2016
In 1988, after airlines refused to transport a sick child from Israel to California for diagnosis and treatment of his rare condition, Trump sent his private plane. Snopes confirms the story after it made the rounds again in 2015. At the time, the father of the boy said:
“Mr. Trump did not hesitate when we called him up. He said ‘yes, I’ll send my plane out,’” 29-year-old Harold Ten recalled shortly after he landed with his son.
When he was asked why he thought Trump made his private jet available to his son, Ten replied, “Because he is a good man. He has three children of his own and he knows what being a parent is all about.”
4. Stopped a Mugging
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) June 6, 2016
Although it didn’t involve cold hard cash, Donald Trump put his own personal safety at risk by doing something many other people wouldn’t do. In 1991, the New York Daily News reported that Trump stopped a “big guy with a bat” from “bashing another fellow.” Trump recounted the story:
“I’m not looking to play this thing up,” Trump said yesterday. “I’m surprised you found out about it.”[…]
“Someone in the car looked over and said, ‘Gee, look at that, it’s a mugging,’ ” Trump said. “I said to my driver to stop the car because it was brutal-looking.”[…]
“The guy with the bat looked at me, and I said, “Look, you’ve gotta stop this. Put down the bat,”‘ Trump said. “I guess he recognized me because he said, ‘Mr. Trump, I didn’t do anything wrong.’ I said, ‘How could you not do anything wrong when you’re whacking a guy with a bat?’ Then he ran away.”
There were witnesses to the event.
5. Helped a Widow Save Her Farm
In 1986, Donald Trump sprang into action after hearing about how a farmer whose farm went into foreclosure killed himself, hoping the life insurance would save it for his family. But not only did the family lose him but the insurance didn’t cover suicide.
Trump tried to help anonymously, but word got out. So in true Trump fashion, he used the media attention to help the family pay off the mortgage, even flying them to New York for a mortgage burning ceremony. The family still thinks of him kindly:
“We saw a whole different side of him that was kindhearted, to reach out to us, to help us,” Hill’s daughter Betsy Sharp said. “Most people don’t know and see that side. All they see is just the ‘blurt’ that people put on the TV. They don’t see the other side of him, and that’s what my family got to experience.”
6. Offered a Check for an Undisclosed Amount to a Truck Driver Who Helped His Mother:
While Snopes can’t confirm the widespread story from 1995 that Trump paid off the mortgage for a couple that fixed his limo’s flat tire, the fact-checking source does recount a verifiable story of Trump repaying the generosity of a man who rescued his 79-year-old mother from a mugging. The 1991 incident left Trump’s mother suffering from broken bones and severe facial bruising.
https://t.co/zpzwLYN5YM When was the last time you paid off someone's mortgage for them helping you?
— bob- O (@bobbychaconjr1) June 28, 2016
Because the truck driver intervened, the perpetrator was caught and brought to justice. In addition to dining with the truck driver and his family, Trump offered the man a better job and wrote him a check for an undisclosed amount.
Two interesting points about these stories: Most of them took place before Donald Trump started running for president, and many only became public because the people involved chose to share their stories over the years.