Photo: AP

Although for years Donald Trump has staked much of his philanthropic reputation on the claim that he has donated hundreds of millions of dollars of his personal wealth to charity, a recent investigation by The Washington Post reveals that this is far from the case. In fact, many of the gifts that Trump had claimed were simply cash turned out to be free rounds of golf, land-conservation agreements, and actual small parcels of land.

What’s more, these donations often went to organizations that could in some way be of direct benefit to the Trump campaign’s success, such as groups who utilized Trump facilities or conservatives with stakes in the Republican Party.

A list obtained by the Post entitled “Donald J. Trump Charitable Contributions” elucidated the reporters to the fact that Trump had taken charitable credit for “2,900 free rounds of golf, 175 free hotel stays, 165 free meals and 11 gift certificates to the spa.” But that’s not all!

The Post’s analysis showed that the small giveaways from Trump businesses seemed to account for the bulk of the 4,844 transactions that Trump took credit for. But they accounted for only about $6.4 million of the total dollar figure.

The most expensive charitable contributions on Trump’s list, by contrast, dealt with transactions related to real estate.

For one, Trump counted $63.8 million of unspecified “conservation easements.” That refers to legal arrangements — which could bring tax breaks — in which a landowner agrees to forgo certain kinds of development on land that he owns. In California, for example, Trump agreed to an easement that prevented him from building homes on a plot of land near a golf course. But Trump kept the land, and kept making money off it. It is a driving range.

Of course, Trump has a long-established habit of exaggerating when it comes to his personal wealth. Though the FEC valued the Trump name at $3.3 billion as of last year, Trump himself claimed he was worth at least $7 billion more than that. And despite being trailed by a string of high-profile failures such as an Atlantic City casino, an airline, a brand of premium vodka and a board game, America’s most famous Cheeto-dust-dipped sentient potato sack likes to pretend he’s only ever found himself at the helm of wildly successful business ventures.