Florida reportedly is probing Melania Trump’s tea for a charity that doesn’t seem to exist

February 15, 2022

Officials have launched an “inquiry” into an upcoming Florida fundraiser organized by Melania Trump for a charity that isn’t registered in the state, as is required by law, The New York Times reported on Saturday, February 12—and it isn’t clear whether the charity even exists.

Indeed, according to HuffPost, tickets are being sold to an “exclusive high tea” scheduled for April 9—and featuring the former first lady—in Naples, Florida.

According to information from Trump’s office, the tea will raise money for the charity Fostering the Future, which is described as an initiative of Be Best, the anti-bullying mission launched by Trump when she was living in the White House. Money is supposed to fund computer science scholarships to young people who have been in foster care, according to the ticket sales site. Tickets for a VIP table sponsor cost $50,000. Patron tickets are going for $3,000.

But no such charity is registered in Florida, the Times reported. Nor does it appear to exist anywhere else. Officials at the Florida agency that oversees charity fundraising confirmed to the Times that there is no state registration of the charity, and they are investigating.

“Consumer Services Division is currently investigating whether this event involves an entity operating in violation of Chapter 496, Florida Statutes,” Erin Moffet, an agency spokesperson, said in a statement to the Times, referring to the state law requiring charities to register before soliciting money.

There is a website called “Fostering the Future” for the nonprofit organization Children’s Rights Inc., which is located in New York City. It’s described in a charity form as “advocating on behalf of abused and neglected children.” There is no mention on its website of Melania Trump, Be Best, or the upcoming Florida fundraiser.

HuffPost could not immediately reach Children’s Rights for comment.

There is also a Fostering the Future in Illinois, which exists on the internet only as a name on a donation site with no information about the organization. The charity tracking organization Charity Navigator also has little information about it.

Responding to the Times story on Twitter, Melania Trump called it “dishonest reporting” by “corrupt media,” and said all documents are “in the works.”

She also stated that “we are working” with the Bradley Impact Fund, a “donor-advised fund,” to “select charities that will receive the donations to foster children.” The statement sounds like the charities haven’t yet been picked, which appears to contradict the information on the ticket sales site for the high tea with Trump.

The Bradley Impact Fund has been linked to organizations pushing Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election he lost was rigged.

The Times’ story about the former first lady’s upcoming high tea also examined all the ways her husband is lining his pockets in his post-White House life.

Research contact: @HuffPost