An interview with Donald Trump Jr. conducted by a local Pennsylvania television station was abruptly cut off by an aide when the topic turned to a Washington Post story about Donald Trump spending his foundation's money at auction to buy a portrait of himself.
"You're a director of the Trump Foundation charity, did you sign off on charity money for a portrait?" asked WTAE local news.
"No, I don't know anything about that," responded Trump Jr.
"So how come you didn't know—," asked WTAE.
"All right, that's it," a voice off-camera then immediately cuts in. "We have to move on to the next one."
"I'm not involved in it," Trump Jr. said.
Two separate Washington Post stories found Trump spent Trump Foundation money to buy a football helmet and portrait at a charity auction, possibly violating tax against self-dealing. A BuzzFeed News article in July also found Trump bought a $120,000 luxury trip at a charity auction with Trump Foundation money.
Earlier in the interview, Trump Jr. said his father hasn't released his tax returns because he is under audit and doesn't want people in the country going through them.
"What we don't want to do is create a story where then every want-to-be-auditor in the country is going through and saying, 'What if? What if?' There's nothing there," he said.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
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