A new development essentially exposes the motives behind Donald Trump’s fundraising event for veterans at Drake University to be a sham.
Trump, in lieu of boycotting the Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox News, declared he wanted to raise money for “Wounded Warriors and veterans.” Trump set up a special website for the event: donaldtrumpforvets.com. The header promises that “100% of your donations will go directly to Veterans needs.”
$180,000 has already been raised so far.
However, if you actually make a contribution, an email is sent to you disclosing that the money donated goes directly to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Trump has not partnered with any specific veterans groups and channeled money to them directly, most likely because this was a last minute political stunt rather than a sincere effort to raise money for veterans.
As The Federalist reports, the Donald J. Trump Foundation has a very poor record of making donations to veterans—between 2009 and 2013, “ Trump’s nonprofit donated more money to the Clinton Foundation than it did to veterans causes.”
Of the $5.5 million Trump donated during these years to various groups, veterans groups comprised less than 1 percent of the donations. Forbes notes that, “only $57,000 has been donated to seven organizations that directly benefit military veterans or their families…Wounded Warriors was not among the organizations Trump’s foundation gave to in that time period.”
Trump could indeed donate all the money he raises during tonight’s event, but his history of charitable work shows this is not likely. If all online donations go straight to his own foundation, there will be very little transparency concerning the distribution of the donations.
Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have stated that they will be attending and supporting Trump’s event (Santorum will arrive after he completes the Republican debate). Huckabee said of his decision, “It's to honor the troops, it's not an endorsement of Donald Trump's candidacy…but I'm delighted to join with Donald Trump in an effort to salute the veterans.”
It’s still unclear exactly how helpful this will end up being to veterans groups.
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