Donald Trump famously skipped a Republican debate to host a fundraiser for veterans. But a new report reveals he kept roughly half of the $6 million raised.
“One hour. Six million dollars,” Trump bragged in Iowa a few days later. More than 20 organizations were supposed to get a chunk of that $6 million.
However, well over a month later, the Trump campaign is still refusing to reveal just how much money it had donated to inquiring Washington Post reporters.
The Post then contacted all 24 veterans charities to see how much they received, and arrived at a damning sum: Only $3 million.
“Where’s the rest of the money going?” said Keith David of the Task Force Dagger Foundation, which specializes in offering support to Special Operations personnel and their families.
They did receive a check from Trump, but they said “There’s a large chunk missing. I’m just kind of curious as to where that money went,” David continued. “I’d like to see some of it come to us, because we are on the list.”
Trump repeatedly asserts his independence. “I’m self-funding my own campaign… I don’t think I get enough credit for self-funding,” he says. However, the vast majority of his funding comes from what is called “candidate loans,” which he has quietly been trying to pay off with donations from individual contributors. However, out of the $12.6 million in candidate loans Trump raised in January, only $4.9 million was raised from his donors that month.
This raises questions about just how long Trump will keep the money raised for veterans within the Donald J. Trump Foundation, his personal charity that specifically gives donations that “boost his political brand,” according to the Post.
Perhaps nervous after the Post‘s line of questioning, the Trump campaign released a summary Thursday confirming the $3 million number. Spokeswoman Hope Hicks also sent an annoyed email saying that Trump intends to get around to giving the rest of the money at some unspecified time.
“If the media spent half as much time highlighting the work of these groups and how our veterans have been so mistreated, rather than trying to disparage Mr. Trump’s generosity for a totally unsolicited gesture for which he had no obligation, we would all be better for it,” she said.
The Trump campaign also revealed today that Keith David’s charity is not on the list of groups that should expect additional donations.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW