Facts are under assault in 2020.

We can't fight back misinformation about the election and COVID-19 without you. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact

More Info

I would like to contribute

Left Action
stated on October 20, 2020 in a Facebook post:
“Hunter Biden was chairman of the World Food Program, which just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Eric Trump, Donald J Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump are banned from ever operating a charity again because they stole donations to children with cancer."
true false
Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump and Eric Trump, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center on June 18, 2019. (AP) Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump and Eric Trump, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center on June 18, 2019. (AP)

Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump and Eric Trump, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center on June 18, 2019. (AP)

Daniel Funke
By Daniel Funke October 21, 2020

Fact-checking claims about charities linked to Hunter Biden and the Trump children

If Your Time is short

  • The World Food Programme won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize — not World Food Program USA. Hunter Biden served as chairman of the latter organization’s board from 2011 to 2015.

  • In November 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a settlement of a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the president and three Trump children. The settlement did not bar the Trump children from operating charitable organizations.

A popular liberal Facebook page is pushing back against attacks on Hunter Biden with uncharitable claims about the children of President Donald Trump.

"Hunter Biden was chairman of the World Food Program, which just won the Nobel Peace Prize," Left Action said in an Oct. 20 post. "Eric Trump, Donald J Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump are banned from ever operating a charity again because they stole donations to children with cancer."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) It’s been shared more than 5,200 times.

Left Action is a popular Facebook page that’s part of a series of online liberal advocacy properties called the Left Action Network. We reached out to the page for evidence to back up its post, but we haven’t heard back.

We’ve previously fact-checked claims about the Trump children being disallowed from operating charities, but we wanted to take a fresh look at the facts.

The Facebook post is wrong to say that the Trump children aren’t allowed to operate charities, and it paints a misleading picture of Hunter Biden’s connection to a nonprofit that fights global hunger.

(Screenshot from Facebook)

World Food Program USA is a 501(c)(3) charity based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to support the World Food Programme, a United Nations-affiliated humanitarian organization that delivers food assistance in dozens of countries around the world.

The World Food Programme won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize — not World Food Program USA. While the two organizations share a common mission, and the U.S. group frequently donates to the international one, they are separate entities, as evidenced by public tax records.

Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, was on the World Food Program USA board of directors from 2011 to 2017 and served as chairman from 2011 to 2015, according to the nonprofit’s annual reports. Randy Russell is the current chairman.

So Hunter Biden is not a former chairman of a Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian organization, as the Facebook post claims. But what about the Trump children?

We reached out to the White House and Trump’s re-election campaign for more information. A spokesperson for the campaign pointed to an October 2019 PolitiFact fact-check about a Facebook post that claimed the Trumps were "disallowed from operating any charity in the State of New York because they stole from a kids cancer charity."

We rated that claim False. Left Action’s recent Facebook post is also misleading.

In June 2018, the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against the president and three of his children: Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump. The Donald J. Trump Foundation, whose board the Trump children served on, was also named in the lawsuit.

The suit claimed that for more than a decade, the foundation violated state and federal laws related to charities in New York state. As a result, it sought to dissolve the foundation and to temporarily prohibit the Trumps from future service as officers or directors in New York charitable organizations.

In November 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a settlement under which the state Supreme Court ordered the president to pay $2 million "for improperly using charitable assets to intervene in the 2016 presidential primaries and further his own political interests." The settlement also required training for the three Trump children and imposed restrictions on the president if and when he joined another charity as director.

RELATED: Trump family ‘disallowed’ from operating charities in New York? No.

The lawsuit had nothing to do with a charity for children with cancer, as the Facebook post claims.

Forbes reported in June 2017 that Eric Trump’s own foundation gave donors the impression that all the money it raised at an annual golf event went to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, when in reality more than $500,000 went to other causes. Eric Trump resigned from the foundation in December 2016.

That scrutiny was separate from the New York attorney general’s lawsuit against Donald J. Trump Foundation, which agreed to dissolve in 2018. And Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump can still operate charities under the terms of the settlement.

The Facebook post is inaccurate. We rate it False.

Our Sources

Charity Navigator, World Food Program USA, accessed Oct. 21, 2020

Email from the Trump campaign, Oct. 21, 2020

Erictrumpfoundation.com, accessed Oct. 21, 2020

Facebook post, Oct. 20, 2020

Forbes, "How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business," June 6, 2017

FRIENDS OF THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAM INC, Form 990 for period ending September 2018

Internet Archive Wayback Machine, NY Attorney General lawsuit against Donald J. Trump Foundation and Trump family, June 14, 2018

Left Action, About page, accessed Oct. 21, 2020

New York Attorney General, "AG James Secures Court Order Against Donald J. Trump, Trump Children, And Trump Foundation," Nov. 7, 2019

The Nobel Prize, The Nobel Peace Prize for 2020, Oct. 9, 2020

PolitiFact, "Trump family ‘disallowed’ from operating charities in New York? No." Oct. 24, 2019

United Nations World Food Programme, Overview, accessed Oct. 21, 2020

The Washington Post, "Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit," Dec. 18, 2018

World Food Program USA, About page, accessed Oct. 21, 2020

World Food Program USA, Board of Directors, accessed Oct. 21, 2020

World Food Program USA, Previous Annual Reports, accessed Oct. 21, 2020

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Daniel Funke

Fact-checking claims about charities linked to Hunter Biden and the Trump children

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up