When the money is due, suddenly, things change. Several weeks ago, just before the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump had a hissy fit because Megyn Kelly was still going to be a moderator for Fox News at the debate, despite Donald’s bleating about her being “unfair.” So he boycotted the debate, and instead decided to hold some sham event he claims he was doing all for the troops. According to a website Trump’s team hastily put together, 22 veteran’s groups were going to be the beneficiaries of some $6 million Trump raised that evening.
Except here it is nearly three weeks later, and the majority of the groups have not seen a dime. The Wall Street Journal has the story:
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s spontaneous approach is running roughshod over political convention, and an impromptu fundraiser event he held for veterans last month illustrates the logistical hurdles such a campaign faces.
A Trump website set up a day before the rally to receive donations said as of Thursday nearly $1.7 million was raised online, which Mr. Trump said reached $6 million in total with other donations, but the campaign didn’t disclose how much was raised that night. The day after the event, his campaign promised to quickly send the cash to nearly two dozen groups and soon presented a handful of them oversize novelty checks for $100,000 from his foundation.
But those big checks can’t be cashed, and two weeks later some of the groups are just now beginning to get paid.
While one nonprofit said it received a check immediately after the event, most of the groups said they hadn’t heard from the Trump foundation about payment for weeks, which a philanthropy expert described as uncommon.
Some of the groups this week received checks, at least one of which appeared to have been sent after questions to the Trump campaign from The Wall Street Journal about the pending payments.
Then of course, you get to the part where it is all about him:
In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Trump said “a lot of the money was sent” already and criticisms are unfounded because he had no obligation to raise the funds. “Out of the goodness of my heart, I raised millions of dollars for the vets,” he said.
Can you believe this guy?
Some groups were not even told they would get money:
The Wall Street Journal attempted to contact all 22 veterans groups that were promised funds, and spoke with many of them multiple times and on Thursday with representatives from more than half to check on the status of payments. Many of the groups said they were contacted for a brief vetting before the event, asked about their overhead costs, but never told they would get money.
Three groups confirmed they had received checks; most others reached said they hadn’t heard back from the Trump organization about the donations. A few groups said their phone calls and messages to the Trump campaign have gone unanswered.
This is absurd. Many of these groups operate on a shoestring budget. $100,000 for them could be a lot of money and it looks like the Trump operation is at best, ridiculously incompetent. An expert has said that at the very least, a letter should have gone out to the organizations, letting them know how much money they’d receive and a timetable for when they should expect it. Trump hasn’t even done that.
To avoid a real political catastrophe, I suspect that due to pressure, all of these groups will get the money promised to them. But it illustrates pretty much how Donald Trump does these things mostly for his benefit, and not for anybody else.
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