Sunday, May 22, 2016

Donald Trump Won't Account for Money He Promised Veterans Charities

Trump said he raised $6 million for veterans. Now his campaign says it was less.
Washington Post

By David A. Fahrenthold
May 21, 2016

One night in January, Donald Trump skipped a GOP debate and instead held his own televised fundraiser for veterans. At the end of the night, Trump proclaimed it a huge success: “We just cracked $6 million, right? Six million.”
Donald Trump speaks to supporters on the Drake University campus at a fundraiser on Jan. 28, 2016, to benefit veterans after skipping the Fox News GOP debate in Des Moines that night. (Larry W. Smith/European Pressphoto Agency)
Now, Trump’s campaign says that number is incorrect.

Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said the fundraiser actually netted about $4.5 million, or 75 percent of the total that Trump announced.

Lewandowski blamed the shortfall on Trump’s own wealthy acquaintances. He said some of them had promised big donations that Trump was counting on when he said he had raised $6 million. But Lewandowski said those donors backed out and gave nothing.

In recent weeks, Trump and his campaign repeatedly declined to give new details about how much they have given away.

“Why should I give you records?” Trump said in an interview with The Post this month. “I don’t have to give you records.”
Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said Trump’s refusal to divulge how much of the money he had distributed raised questions about whether the candidate intended the fundraiser primarily as a public-relations effort for himself.

“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.”
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