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Harvard University Defies Trump, Won’t Give back Ill-Gotten Loot

Harvard has a $40 billion endowment fund/rainy day fund and rather than use that or use the other lending available to institutions in the stimulus they looted the small business portion.

When Trump found p0ut they took money meant for small businesses he went ballistic as he should.

He demanded they return the money. But Harvard is arrogant and believes the rules do not apply to them so they are defying Trump and refusing to return the money. What a dumb move.

From Reuters:

“Harvard is going to pay back the money and they shouldn’t be taking it,” Trump said, adding that Harvard has one of the largest endowments “in the country, maybe in the world.”

In a statement issued moments after the briefing ended, however, Harvard said it planned “to direct 100% of the funds to financial assistance to students, and will not be using any of the funds to cover institutional costs.”

Trump said late on Tuesday that Harvard’s endowment system should be looked at.

“Harvard should give back the money now. Their whole “endowment” system should be looked at”, the U.S. president said in a tweet, which did not give further details

The university said it received the grant through the educational relief program that was part of the $2.3 trillion stimulus passed at the end of March, which also included a much larger fund aimed at helping small businesses.

That fund has been riddled with controversy, including an outcry over disclosures that larger companies received bailout funds while many small businesses, among the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, still await aid.

From The Hill:

“I’m going to request it,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday, singling out the Ivy League school. “Harvard is going to pay back the money. They shouldn’t be taking it.”

“I’m not going to mention any other names but when I saw Harvard, they have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the country, maybe in the world. They’re going to pay back the money,” the president continued.

Trump was answering a question about money issued through a small business loan program established by the third coronavirus relief package signed into law last month. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has come under scrutiny amid revelations that major restaurant chains, hotels and other big businesses were able to tap into funds meant for businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

The PPP, initially funded at $350 billion, ran out of money last week. The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to replenish the program’s coffers.

The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package that established the PPP also separately allocated billions to support higher education institutions and reports surfaced last week that Harvard would receive over $8 million in funding.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters at Tuesday’s briefing that the Treasury Department would be issuing guidance on the certification that businesses need to meet in order to qualify for the PPP loans.

Shake Shack, a major burger chain, announced Monday it would return $10 million it received through the program.

“We have over a million companies that have received this with less than 10 workers. There is very broad participation in really small business. I will comment there have been some big businesses that have taken these loans. I was pleased to see that Shake Shack returned the money,” Mnuchin said. “The intent of this was not for big public companies that have access to capital.”

Mnuchin did not mention Harvard specifically but the president did shortly thereafter, noting that the university received relief funding. Harvard did not receive funding through the PPP.