Former Marine plans anti-Trump protest

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A Marine Corps veteran is organizing a protest on Monday against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, demanding he apologize for overstating his donations to veterans groups. 

Protest organizer and former Marine Alexander McCoy says Trump should apologize for stating he raised $6 million at a Jan. 28 fundraiser for veterans. 

{mosads}“We just cracked $6 million, right?” Trump said at the end of the event, according to a recent Washington Post report.

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski now says, however, that the fundraiser netted about $4.5 million and told the Post the shortfall was due to Trump’s acquaintances pledging donations but not following through. 

“I can’t tell you who,” he said. 

Lewandowski later told CNN the amount raised was less than $6 million, and said the $4.5 million figure he had given the Post earlier was inaccurate. 

The fundraiser brought in at least $3.1 million in donations to veterans groups, according to accounting by the Post.  

McCoy, who served in the Marine Corps from January 2008 to December 2013 and is now a Columbia University student, said the protest was a spontaneous, grassroots response to the revelations reported by the Post and CNN. 

“Donald has attempted to use the respect that American voters have for veterans to obscure the fact that he is completely unfit to be our commander in chief,” McCoy, 27, told The Hill. 

“As a veteran, I think it’s unacceptable that he has made promises he is unwilling to keep,” he said. 

McCoy is a registered Democrat but said he has no official connection to any campaign and that veterans of all ages, political affiliations, genders and services will be represented at the protest. 

McCoy said he is expecting somewhere between 20 and 40 veterans, with more participating online using #VetsVsHate. 

He said the hashtag was used previously to protest Trump’s “Islamophobic attitudes.” 

McCoy’s press release cites a litany of other grievances against Trump: “He has insulted prisoners of war and later refused to apologize. He has demeaned our service members, referring to the US military as a ‘disaster.’ And he has signaled his support for privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs, a move which is opposed by a majority of veterans.

“If elected President, Donald Trump’s policies would make America less safe. Based on his broken promises, we cannot trust Trump to live up to our commitments to our nation’s veterans,” he said. 

Trump has said he would order the military to waterboard terrorist suspects, despite the practice being against the Geneva Conventions. He later backtracked from that stance, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

“It worries me that he would make that kind of statement, because it puts our troops and our allies at greater risk,” said McCoy, who served in embassy security in the Marines before leaving as a sergeant. 

“It encourages and validates the actions of groups like [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria],” he said.

The protest is planned for outside Trump Tower in New York City from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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