In late January, Donald Trump skipped a Fox News presidential debate in Iowa to host a fundraiser for “wounded warriors and veterans.” The event reportedly raised $6 million, including $1 million from the White House hopeful’s own pocket.
The Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has a spectacularly poor record of donating to veterans, claimed the money was distributed among various organizations and charities. However, there was no proof of it, and the Trump campaign, as usual, divulged very little information about the recipients.
In May, four months after Trump said he had donated the money, Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold reached out to various veteran groups and asked them if they had received a check from the business mogul. No one had.
After coming under intense media scrutiny over the issue, Trump told the Post he had given $1 million donation to a group that provides scholarships to the children of fallen Marines.
On Tuesday, the presumptive GOP nominee even called a press conference to blast reporters who had questioned the whereabouts of the money he had raised for the veterans during the televised event. To prove his point, his campaign also released the names of the charities.
Interestingly, about half of the charities mentioned had not received the funds until May 24 — the same day The Washington Post had questioned Trump about the money. The Associated Press spoke with 30 of the 41 organizations listed and about half of them said they did not receive a check until last week.
In fact, the checks were dispatched via overnight express a day after Trump claimed they were sent.
“The press should be ashamed of themselves,” Trump complained during the press conference. “Instead of being like, ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job,’ everyone’s saying, ‘Who got it? Who got it? Who got it?’ and you make me look very bad. I have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job.”
The ever-humble real estate magnate also shamed the media for forcing him to “take credit” for the donations.
“If we could, I wanted to keep it private because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I wanna send money to the vets,” he added, before going on to call ABC News journalist Tom Llamas a “sleaze” for asking follow-up questions about Trump's honesty.
It is safe to assume that after all the flip-flopping Trump did concerning the actual amount of the funds raised and its distribution, if media had not questioned him about the cash, few veterans groups would've seen a dime.
Watch his press conference below: