by The News American
Trump has promised to be a great for America’s veterans. Yet, millions of dollars he supposedly raised for veterans charities is unaccounted for. What’s worse, he may have lied about personally donating $1 million to Vets.
Back in January, Donald Trump skipped a GOP debate to hold a now notorious fundraising event for veterans. The event created quite the publicity for Trump and was broadcast on a number of major television stations.
At the event Trump said, “Our vets are being mistreated… and it’s not going to happen anymore.”
Trump, with his usual bravado, proclaimed the event to be a great success, raising $5 million for America’s veterans. He also personally pledged another $1 million, bringing the grand total raised to $6 million.
Sounds like a good thing right? Except, much of the money is unaccounted for. Trump’s campaign manager, Cory Lewandowski, told the Washington Post that the actual total raised for vets was less than $6 million Trump has promised.
Mr. Lewandowski said he did not know the exact number, off the top of his head. For a successful businessman, Trump sure seems to have trouble keeping his accounting in order. Lewandowski had previously said that the actual number raised by Trump was “about $4.5 million”, though he later claimed that number was not accurate.
In March, Trump provided documents showing $2.9 million had been distributed to Veterans’ organizations.
Al Baldasaro, Trump’s campaign adviser for veteran’s issues, also can’t account for the missing donations. What’s worse is he doesn’t even seem to care about the missing donations. When asked about where the funds are he said, “I could ask, but it’s not high on my priority list.”
When Trump himself was asked about the donations he said, “Why should I give you records? I Don’t have to give you records.”
Veterans groups are now calling for Trump to release information on where the money went.
Paul Rieckhoff, who is the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, has suggested Trump’s fundraiser was just a public relations stunt.
“That’s just shady. Right? No matter how you cut it, that’s just shady,” Rieckhoff said. “If he was going to make it right, a couple of weeks before Memorial Day would be a good time to do it. It behooves him, not just politically but ethically, to come forward and account for this money.”
One Veteran’s group “Heroes to Heroes” said they haven’t received any money from Trump despite receiving money from a Trump foundation in the past. Judy Schaffer, a representative from the group, said vets are in dire need of Trump’s donations.“We have a waiting list of over 200 veterans. Many of them have already attempted suicide. It keeps me up at night.”
It also seems as though Trump has not made good on his promise to personally donate $1 million.
Of twenty-two veteran’s charities that received donations from Trump’s fundraiser, all said they had received no personal donations from Trump himself. When Lewandowski was asked about Trump’s personal donations he was evasive.
Q: “Did Trump make good on his promise to give his personal funds.”
Lewandowski: “The money is fully spent. Trump’s money is fully spent.”
Q: “To whom did Trump give, and in what amounts?”
Lewandowski: “He’s not going to share that information.”