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Vox Sentences: A new frontier in sketchiness for the sketchtastic Trump Foundation

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A clear contrast on refugees between Obama and the man who'd replace him; turns out you can't use your foundation to pay off lawsuits against your companies; Terence Crutcher, a victim of the implicit bias of the “big bad dude."

Skittles, snakes, and Trojan horses

Donald Trump Jr. tweet Donald Trump Jr.
  • Donald Trump Jr. — the son of the Republican nominee for president — tweeted out a picture Monday night comparing Syrian refugees to poisonous Skittles: If "just three could kill you, would you take a handful?" [Donald Trump Jr. via Twitter]
  • (For what it's worth: Given that refugees are actually not dangerous, in order for the math of this to work, you would have to have a ginormous bowl of Skittles.) [Vox / Zachary Crockett and Javier Zarracina]
  • The meme may seem random: offensive, but mostly silly. Sadly, it is not. The "poisoned candy" argument has been a meme among online Islamophobes for a while — and "Skittles" have been a racist meme ever since the death of Trayvon Martin. [Vox / Libby Nelson]
  • Another Trump child might deserve the benefit of the doubt: Maybe he didn't know about these associations. But Donald Jr. has a surprising habit of retweeting and dog-whistling the alt-right. [Washington Post / Aaron Blake]
  • Donald Trump Sr., for his part, isn't comparing refugees to candy. He's sticking to comparing them to snakes, and to a "Trojan horse" invading army: turning fear of immigrants and refugees into his campaign's closing argument. [Trip Gabriel via Twitter]
  • Ironically — and sadly — the man Trump is seeking to replace, President Barack Obama, gave a speech today at a UN "leaders' summit" on refugees — aiming to pressure other countries to commit to acceptingmore refugees in coming years. [CNN / Laura Koran]
  • President Obama doesn't have the highest ground morally here. The US is one of the (frankly many) nations that arguably aren't pulling their weight when it comes to the global refugee crisis. [Think Progress / Esther Yu Hsi Lee]
  • But Obama recognizes welcoming refugees as an aspirational ideal, one he's strived to meet in the past few years. That ideal has been an American value since the Holocaust. It's worth thinking about what it would mean to elect a president who wants to turn away. [Vox / Dara Lind]

All bronzer, no foundation

donald trump speech Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
  • So Donald Trump, like Hillary Clinton, has a controversial foundation. But in Donald Trump's case, the controversy isn't "did this foundation get used for political ends?" but "did this foundation actually do anything at all for anyone other than Donald Trump?" [Vox / Matthew Yglesias]
  • The Washington Post's David A. Fahrenthold — one of the breakout stars of this election, journalistically speaking — has been trying to answer that question for months. He has a list of 350 organizations Trump claimed to have donated to. He has discovered actual Trump donations to less than 10. [Nieman Lab / Ricardo Bilton]
  • Fahrenthold has found, though, that Trump was good at using the foundation to spend other people's money… [Washington Post / David A. Fahrenthold]
  • …on things like a $20,000 portrait of Donald Trump. (It is reportedly hanging in a building On one of Trump's golf courses.) [Washington Post / David A. Fahrenthold]
  • This sure seems unusually sketchy for a celebrity foundation. But given that most foundations aren't much more transparent than Trump's, it's possible that this kind of malfeasance isn't unique. [Inside Philanthropy / David Callahan and Ade Adeniji]
  • On Tuesday, though, Fahrenthold revealed something worse: On multiple occasions, Trump had used foundation funds to settle lawsuits against his for-profit businesses. That might violate laws against using the foundations for "self-dealing." [Washington Post / David A. Fahrenthold]
  • This sure doesn't seem like the sort of thing a billionaire philanthropist would do! But Trump clearly isn't much of a philanthropist. And (psst) it's entirely plausible that he's not even a billionaire. [Vanity Fair / Tina Nguyen]

Hands up

Tulsa Police Department Tulsa Police Department
  • Terence Crutcher, 40, was shot and killed by Tulsa police officers on Friday. [NBC News / Aliyah Frumin]
  • The Department of Justice has announced it is investigating the shooting. [CNN / Max Blau, Jason Morris and Catherine E. Shoichet]
  • Video footage shows that Crutcher appeared to be cooperating with police when he was shot; in the last visible footage before the officer fires, Crutcher has his hands raised. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • Crutcher's family says that he was waiting for help with his car by the side of the road. [KFOR / Dallas Franklin]
  • At least some police officers had a different impression: In footage of Crutcher taken from a police helicopter, an officer is heard calling him a "big bad dude." [NBC News / Tim Stelloh]
  • In the air — and possibly on the ground — Crutcher appears to have been another victim of implicit bias against black men. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • Arguably, the Tulsa Police Department's decision to release the footage so soon after the shooting indicates a commitment to transparency — or at least an awareness that, in the era of Black Lives Matter, it was better to get out in front of the story. [CBS/AP]
  • But that won't make it easier to prosecute the officer who killed Crutcher. When a police officer is justified in killing someone, judicially, is still determined in part by whether she can come up with a good reason for being afraid. [Timeline / Jonathan Blanks]
  • Terence Crutcher is one of at least 2,195 people killed by US police since the death of Michael Brown in 2014. [Vox / German Lopez and Soo Oh]


  • Donald Trump owes hundreds of millions of dollars to Deutsche Bank. As president, he'd be in charge of negotiating a Department of Justice penalty of up to $14 billion against the bank. What could go wrong? [BuzzFeed / Matthew Zeitlin]
  • A student at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia, accused a classmate of forcing her to perform oral sex. The school official to whom she reported it asked her, "Why didn’t you bite his penis and squeeze his balls?" Then the school suspended her. [Slate / Nora Caplan-Bricker]
  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's breakup is as good a time as any to revisit this profile of Laura Wasser, the Hollywood divorce attorney who's helped Stevie Wonder, Maria Shriver, Denise Richards, at least three Kardashians, and, yes, Jolie split up. [Bloomberg/ Claire Suddath]
  • If you're a cop who's going to fabricate criminal charges against a protester you don't like, you probably shouldn't record yourself planning that out. [ACLU]

Liberal, Missouri, was founded in 1880 as an atheist enclave in the middle of Bible country. This is the story of its collapse. [Vice / Thomas Gounley]


  • "Rat skeletons cannot liquefy and reconstitute at will." [The Guardian / Jordan Kisner]
  • "All Jim Cooley wants to do is buy some soda. 'You want to come to Walmart?' he asks his wife. 'No,' Maria says. 'Pretty please?' Jim asks. 'I’m not going to sit there and have the police called on you. I mean, I don’t want to see that crap,' Maria says, knowing what a trip to Walmart means." [Washington Post / Terrence McCoy]
  • "The real story is that I’m in love with Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor is the cover-up for us." [Joseph Mankiewicz via Vanity Fair / David Kamp]
  • "When pressed, he admits, 'Yes, we were more than friends.' But in a lawyer-y turnaround, he insists that they never kissed. 'I’m not a kisser,' Darden said. 'Kissing is intimate. Kissing is more intimate than sex.' When asked to describe Clark in one word, he said, 'Fire.'" [NY Mag / Alex Jung]

"About the only instance in recent years in which [Joe] Scarborough didn't get his way with [MSNBC president Phil] Griffin, according to two sources, was when the host, after searching for his name on the Internet and being displeased with the results, demanded that the network president 'call Google' to fix it. Griffin had to inform Scarborough that, alas, Google's search algorithms were beyond his control." [GQ / Jason Zengerle]

Watch this: How the Mona Lisa became so overrated

It's not just the smile. There are a few real reasons Mona is so famous. [YouTube / Phil Edwards]