Instead of participating in tonight’s GOP debate, Donald Trump announced that he would be holding his own ‘veterans fundraising event’ in Iowa.
Trump created a special website for the fundraiser, donaldtrumpforvets.com.
As of 8:30 pm, the site had already raised $380,000. According to the website, 100 percent of those donations are supposed to go to veterans needs.
Here’s a screen capture:
There’s just one problem. As reported by the Federalist, donations to the website aren’t going to veteran’s organizations at all. Instead they are going to his personal non-profit foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
A disclaimer acknowledging that donations are made to Trump’s private charity foundation appears at the bottom of the form.
In addition, the Federalist reports that an email confirmation sent to donors reads:
“The Donald J Trump Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and acknowledges that no goods or services were provided to you in return for your contribution. This letter is your receipt and should be kept with your tax records.”
According to Forbes, less than one percent of donations made by the Donald J Trump Foundation between 2009 and 2013 (the most recent years for which data was available) went to organizations that help veterans. In fact, out of 298 organizations that received donations from Trump’s foundation, only seven were veterans organizations.
Even more telling, the donaldtrumpforvets.com website appears to have been created by the same Florida-based firm that created Trump’s official campaign website. The site was created on Thursday morning, just hours before Trump’s ‘veteran’s fundraiser’ was scheduled to begin.
While Trump claims that 100 percent of the donations raised during the Iowa event will go directly to veteran’s needs, that claim seems dubious, at best.
As Rachel Maddow reported in 2015, this would not be the first time that Trump had used a ‘veterans fundraiser’ to scam his supporters.
In September, Trump held a fundraiser for a group called Veterans for a Strong America. It was later discovered that the ‘group’ had just one member. That member was also the organization’s founder, a man named Joel Arends.
Watch Rachel Maddow’s report below, via YouTube.
Trump is the worst kind of con-artist there is. It’s bad enough that he repeatedly scammed investors and swindled students, but using our country’s wounded veterans to generate profits and publicity is as low as it can get.
Featured image credit: Michael Vadon via Flckr cc 2.0