It is a day in late November 2016, which means that President-elect Donald Trump is hard at work a) yelling about the New York Times on the internet b) acting as if the rules banning government officials from self-dealing don't apply to him and c) assembling a team of geriatric white guys to hasten the ruination of the environment, give more money to rich people, and make life harder for people who aren't straight, white, Christian, and male. It's somewhat tough to remember what we were all doing before this happened, now that every morning we all wake up into a really badly written late-run episode of The Simpsons, but with more anime Nazis.

By now we're all familiar with Trump's unwillingness to admit fault, even when he's settling three fraud lawsuits against Trump University for $25 million, as he did over the weekend. Even in settling, the man who said during a Fox News debate held in simpler times, "I don't settle cases," maintained that he would have won at trial, but said he couldn't go through with it because of the demands of being president, and by the way, did you hear how rude the cast of Hamilton was to Mike Pence? Unfair!

This morning, the Washington Post reported another apparent admission by the man who promised voters, "I know how to win." The paper writes that the Trump Foundation, shown to have largely been a conduit for Trump to spend other people's money and take credit for it, and occasionally for what looks a lot like illegal self-dealing, drew up tax filings for 2015 that acknowledge such self-dealing.

The foundation's lawyers uploaded the forms to the nonprofit-tracking website Guidestar, though the Post could not confirm that the forms had definitely been sent to the IRS. On the paperwork, in a section where the IRS asks if a charity has transferred "income or assets to a disqualified person," meaning someone who could not legally get a charitable donation, such as a Trump business or relative, the person who prepared the paperwork checked "yes." Another box, asking if the foundation engaged in self-dealing in years prior, was also checked yes.


Self-dealing violations can carry tax penalties, and the IRS could force foundation officials to repay money that the charity spent on their behalf. However, Trump is about to assume control of the IRS.

It's not clear from the filing what specific violations the admissions refer to. Past reporting has shown that Trump hasn't given to the foundation that bears his name since 2008. Instead, he has regularly solicited donations for other charities, then raised money for the gifts by soliciting donations to his charity, allowing him to boast of his giving. He has also repeatedly publicly pledged money to charities, but subsequent reporting has showed that the foundation made no such gift, and only one charity the paper called acknowledged receiving money from Trump personally, which it said may have been a bookkeeping error.

Trump could prove donations he made personally, if he made them, by releasing his tax returns, but bucking decades of presidential convention, he has refused to do so.

The IRS fined the Trump Foundation $2,500 this year over its illegal $25,000 donation to Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi as she was considering whether to sue Trump University, which was not a university but a seminar series. Bondi is now a member of Trump's presidential transition team.

The foundation also claimed at least four donations to charities that the charities never received, according to the Post, and Trump and his wife Melania bought items totaling $42,000 at charity auctions with foundation money, possibly in violation of self-dealing rules.

One of the items, a painted portrait of Trump bought for $10,000 at a charity auction, was found hanging at a sports bar in one of Trump's Florida resorts, which the Trump campaign claimed constitutes the bar "storing" the art for the foundation.

And the foundation twice appeared to pay to cover legal settlements ending lawsuits against Trump's for-profit businesses, for amounts totaling $258,000 according to the Post.

The New York state Attorney General's Office, which oversaw one of the Trump University lawsuits that settled, is investigating the Trump Foundation, and has ordered it to stop soliciting contributions.

To avoid a repeat of the improper settlement payments from the foundation that appear to have been made to end past lawsuits, Trump's lawyers agreed that no foundation money would be used to cover his $25 million Trump University payout. The fraud settlement comes without an admission of wrongdoing by Trump.

News of the seeming admission of wrongdoing by the foundation comes one day after the Federal Election Commission announced that Trump's campaign accepted about 1,100 contributions, worth $1.3 million, that may have violated campaign finance laws.

The Trump team did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.