Donald Trump made a big deal of raising cash for veterans in his alternate-reality event to compete with the Fox News-sponsored GOP debate last night.
Today Donald J. Trump hosted an event to raise money for Veterans organizations in Des Moines, Iowa. The GOP frontrunner spoke to a record crowd at Drake University and was joined by special guests, including Senator Rick Santorum and Governor Mike Huckabee, as well as Veterans, throughout the night. Mr. Trump personally contributed $1 million dollars to the cause and raised an additional $5 million before the one-hour event concluded, totaling more than $6 million dollars.
I love the part about the “special guests” Santorum and Huckabee, who have sealed their fate in an ignominious end to their campaigns (even if they don’t formally withdraw, they are done).
But where did the cash “to the cause” go? The Donald J. Trump Foundation.
The Donald J Trump Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. An email confirmation with a summary of your donation will be sent to the email address provided above.
Trump was called out on Twitter for using Shutterstock model photos on the one-page “give us money” site.
After CNN criticized him for not supplying the list of charities to whom the money will go, Trump finally published the list, which does not include the scandal-plagued Wounded Warrior Project.
What makes this a childish and transparent case of pandering is the fact that Trump has donated more to the Clintons and World Wrestling Entertainment than to veterans groups in the last 10 years.
Tax forms examined by The Daily Beast show that in 2009, the Donald J. Trump Foundation gave a whopping $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation (then called the William J. Clinton Foundation). The following year, Trump’s Foundation, a registered 501c group, gave another $10,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Topping this off was a hefty gift of $1,000,000 to World Wrestling Entertainment, a company for which Trump has made appearances in the past.
Over a five-year span, from 2009 to 2013, the foundation gave just $57,000 to veterans’ groups, according to an estimate Forbes made last December. A significant portion of that comes from a single $25,000 donation in 2011, to the Fisher House, which helps provide homes to veterans and their families.
Trump feels that money can buy anything: politicians, voters, and now even veterans groups. Not all of them can be bought off though. The founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America tweeted that he doesn’t want Trump’s cash.
I can only imagine the pandemonium in the Trump campaign office as staffers called as many veterans groups as they could gather in a short time to get that list together. As in everything Trump does, it was all done for theatrical value. The man does nothing without expecting something in return.
That’s the art of Trump’s deal.