Donald Trump’s answers yesterday when it came to how and when he finally gave money to veterans groups were almost universally discredited.
POLITIFACT // LOUIS JACOBSON
Our ruling: Trump said. “I wanted to keep it private, because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I want to send money to the vets.” Trump certainly didn’t keep quiet about his intention to raise money for veterans causes when he was setting up his event in Iowa in January. To the contrary, he talked about it in media availabilities and tweeted about it on more than one occasion. His statement is ridiculous, so we rate it Pants on Fire.
Big Trump checks to vets groups sent on day of media report
ASSOCIATED PRESS // MICHAEL BIESECKER, JILL COLVIN AND STEVE PEOPLES
More than a dozen big checks flowed out of New York last week, bound for veterans’ charities from Donald Trump. On Tuesday, he announced he had made good on his promise of last January to give the groups millions of dollars from a highly publicized fundraiser. … The largest donation, a $1 million check dated May 24 and drawn from Donald J. Trump’s personal account, was addressed to a small Tuckahoe, New York, group that provides scholarships to the children of fallen Marines. Trump had been interviewed that same day by The Washington Post, which for weeks had been raising questions about where the promised money was, urging him to disclose recipients of the millions raised during a splashy telethon-style fundraiser he held in Iowa in January in place of a Fox debate he was boycotting. At a news conference Tuesday, Trump released a list of 41 groups he said had received $5.6 million. “Most of the money went out quite a while ago,” Trump said. “Some of it went out more recently. But all of this has gone out.” … The Associated Press spoke or left messages with each of the organizations Trump named. Of the 30 groups that responded by Tuesday, about half said they had received checks from Trump just last week. Several said the checks were dated on or about May 24 — the date as Trump’s interview with the Post — and shipped out overnight.
Trump announced his gifts to veterans. Here’s what we learned.
WASHINGTON POST // DAVID FARENTHOLD
How much, in total, did Trump raise at that fundraiser? $5.6 million. Trump gave that figure on Tuesday, and backed it up by listing gifts to 41 different veterans’ charities that totaled $5.6 million. On the night of the fundraiser, Trump had told the crowd “We just cracked $6 million! Right? $6 million.” He repeated the figure for several days afterward, both at rallies and on TV morning shows. On Tuesday, Trump did not explain why the final total had fallen short of $6 million, but he said he believed that more donations would come in later and that the total might eventually top $6 million after all.
MSNBC // STEVE BENEN
The GOP candidate boasted that he’d raised $6 million for vets, and he’d contributed $1 million out of his own pocket. The trouble, however, started two weeks ago, when the Washington Post started asking what happened to the money. The newspaper found that Trump did not raise $6 million as he’d claimed, and making matters worse, though his campaign said Trump had already made a $1 million contribution, that turned out not to be true, either.
… So where does that leave us? Trump said he’d raised $6 million for veterans, but that wasn’t true. He later claimed he never used the $6 million figure, but that wasn’t true. His campaign insisted Trump had contributed $1 million himself, but that wasn’t true. Trump said he “didn’t want to have credit” for the fundraising efforts, but that wasn’t true. He said he and his team were vetting groups they’d never heard of four months after the fact, but that wasn’t true.
THE ATLANTIC // NORA KELLY
But in the months since the fundraiser, that figure—and where the money went—has been thrown into doubt. Campaign officials have provided conflicting information. By the end of February, at least three of the 22 veterans groups slated to receive fundraiser money had not gotten checks. In early April, the Trump campaign told CNN it had disbursed $2.9 million to 27 groups, though a Wall Street Journal report found less than that was distributed, and to fewer groups. The donations’ fate looked even more muddled earlier this month, when Trump and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, gave conflicting accounts on how much money was raised, when Trump himself had donated, and whether big-check donors had backed out.
ASSOCIATED PRESS // JONATHAN LEMIRE AND JILL COLVIN
Trump had claimed that he raised $6 million through a combination of pledges from wealthy friends, the public and $1 million from himself after a splashy telethon-style fundraiser he held in Iowa in January in place of the Fox debate. But his campaign refused to disclose which charities had received the money for months, leading some to speculate that the money raised was less than he had claimed. ‘‘It was very unfair that the press treated us so badly,’’ Trump complained. Local New York Veteran affiliated with the group ‘‘the #VetsVsHate’’ are planning a protest outside Trump Tower to complain that Trump ‘‘has used veterans as political props.’’ ‘‘Trump has been evasive and dishonest about this money, and only after being confronted for attempting to defraud vets was he shamed into accounting for the missing funds,’’ the group said in a release.