13:52 Nov. 23, 2016
Hillary Clinton's foundation received money from the same billionaire, Victor Pinchuk
Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, known as a major donor to the Clinton Foundation, was also the single largest outside donor to Donald Trump's private charity in 2015, the tax returns for 2015 released by the President-elect's foundation show.
It has emerged that Ukrainian oligarch paid USD 150,000 to the Trump Foundation in exchange for Donald Trump making a short video speech at one of his conferences, the Yalta European Strategy held in Kyiv in autumn 2015.
Pinchuk Foundation confirmed the payment which, according to legal experts, could be seen as a violation of the US tax laws.
According to the Washington Post, Trump's charitable foundation has admitted to the Internal Revenue Service that it violated a legal prohibition against "self-dealing," which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity's money to help themselves, their businesses or their families.
The foundation of the very same Ukrainian magnate had donated at least USD 8.6million to the Clinton Foundation when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
Clinton's decision to host him at a dinner during that time led to questions being raised during her presidential run in August, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Now Trump may be subjected to the same kinds of questions about his business and charitable interests, and whether they conflict with his role as President.
The 2015 speech, for each minute of which Trump earned some USD 7,000, represents some of Trump's most sympathetic remarks about Ukraine throughout the entirety of his campaign, notes The Daily Beast.
In the video, Trump also seemed to suggest that Ukraine fell subject to aggression from Russia because President Barack Obama was not a strong enough leader. "Putin does not respect our president whatsoever," Trump said at one point. "The fact is that Ukraine is an amazing place. You know, I've known so many people, so many years in Ukraine. These are people that want what's good. They want what's right. And they're not being treated right by the United States. And also by the way, and I hate to say this, they're not being treated right by Europe itself."
Trumps sentiment towards Ukraine notably shifted once he brought on Paul Manafort as campaign chairman, who advised the pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
He went from saying that Ukrainians were not "getting the support they need," during the September 2015 conference to saying he might recognize Crimea as Russian territory and lift US sanctions against Russia.