You might recall when last year, during the height of the Trump-Kelly feud, the Republican front-runner backed out of a FOX News-hosted debate and decided to hold a fundraiser for veterans instead. One of the more shameless and disgusting uses of our brave servicemen as a political bludgeon, Trump proudly announced that he had raised $6 million at the event that would be donated to veterans.
Several groups refused to accept the money from Trump, tired of being used as a political pawn, and many questioned whether it would be distributed at all. CNN investigated the issue, only to find that they could only track $800,000 of six million raised. The Washington Post conducted a similar investigation, but could only find $3 million: “that Trump’s campaign had earmarked donations for $50,000 or $100,000 to 24 separate charities. Many organizations remain confused about the promised contributions, having received incomplete or nonexistent amounts.”
Which begs the question, where is the rest? “It’s a big dollar amount, but it’s not high math when you’re dealing with checks like this. It should be easy to do, Charity Navigators, a group that follows charities, says that the money should be dispersed by now. We continue to ask and get no answers!” states CNN reporter Drew Griffin.
“Where’s the money?” finished Griffin. “Trump deals with big money all the time…we get a lot of confusing answers but not a lot of hard facts and numbers of the accounting of this.”
It will come as no surprise to anyone except Trump’s diehard fans that he hasn’t been honest about this. His campaign, when pressed for comment, reacted predictably and defensively: “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.” While we appreciate Trump’s misguided attempts to help our veterans – many of the donations went to truly needy organizations – we still wish to hold Trump accountable to his promises and ensure that the money is properly dispersed. Forgive us for being suspicious, but Trump does not exactly have a generous or honest record of philanthropy.
Trump has promised to take care of our veterans better than anybody, whatever that might mean, but at this point he has not proven to be a man of his word and clearly cares little for anyone except himself. This hypocrite claims to stand for the troops but dodged the draft, said that sleeping with so many models that he was at risk for sexually transmitted diseases was his own “personal Vietnam,” and mocked Senator John McCain for being shot down and tortured in Vietnam. If Trump truly did care about veterans, he would have dispersed the money already and moved on. If he truly cared about veterans, he would have supported them throughout his career and not just to earn a couple cheap votes from gullible nationalists who are swayed by draping yourself in the flag.
So, Mr. Trump – where’s the money?
Watch CNN‘s report on their investigation here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.