Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE has donated less than half of the $6 million he rasied for military veterans late last January, a new report says.
About $3 million has made its way to 24 charities the GOP presidential front-runner picked as beneficiaries, according to The Washington Post.
Trump shocked political pundits by boycotting the seventh Republican presidential debate on Jan. 28 over disagreements with the host network, Fox News. Political pundits were surprised by his absence, given that the debate took place in Des Moines four days before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
The outspoken billionaire instead conducted a rival fundraiser elsewhere in the Iowan city, vowing the proceeds would benefit groups that aid military veterans.
Trump’s campaign on Thursday lashed out at journalists for exploring whether the real estate tycoon has kept that pledge.
“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,” campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Washington Post in an email.
The Washington Post reported Thursday 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, it added, having received incomplete or nonexistent amounts.
“Where’s the rest of the money going?” asked Keith David of the Task Force Dagger Foundation, which offers support for Special Operations personnel and their families.
“There’s a large chunk of money missing,” said David, whose organization has received $50,000 but is concerned by the unaccounted funds absent from the pledged total. "I’m just kind of curious as to where that went. I’d like to see some of it come to us, because we are on the list.”
The Washington Post reported Thursday that most of the $3 million accounted for stems from donations by Trump’s wealthy friends, including billionaire investor Carl Icahn and Stewart Rahr, a New York City philanthropist. Another $1.67 million originated from small donors online who gave to donaldtrumpforvets.com.
Trump has frequently bemoaned the benefits available for military veterans and their loved ones on the campaign trail. He has vowed he will improve the physical and mental health aid available to combat personnel if elected president next November.