Donald Trump Campaign Admits It Didn't Actually Raise $6 Million for Veterans

Source: AP
Source: AP

Presumptive Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has not raised $6 million for veterans' charities, contrary to prior announcements from his own campaign.

Trump, who skipped a GOP primary debate in Iowa to hold his own alternative event in January, said at the time his fundraiser managed to gather over $6 million for more than 20 veterans' groups, $1 million of which he said he personally donated.

"In the days that followed the Iowa fundraiser, the donations — ostensibly, apolitical gifts to needy veterans — became a centerpiece of Trump's campaign rallies," the Washington Post wrote in March. "He would frequently call the leaders of local charities up onstage and hand them a huge check in front of the cameras and the crowds."

However, on Friday, the Post reported campaign manager Corey Lewandowski now says only $4.5 million was actually raised because "there were some individuals who he'd spoken to who were going to write large checks, [who] for whatever reason ... didn't do it." As CNN noted, the Trump campaign has been tight with details on the specifics of the event, and only a figure in the neighborhood of $3 million has been confirmed as actually being disbursed to veterans' groups so far.

The event was intended to draw contrasts between Trump and his Republican rivals for the presidential nomination — as well as blunt any lingering criticism remaining from the time the candidate mocked Arizona Sen. John McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam War. 

Source: Mic/YouTube

Attempting to account for the missing money, the Post found small donors provided $670,000, while seven large donors gave a combined $3.78 million, coming close to Lewandowski's figure of $4.5 million.

The biggest hole? The $1 million promised by Trump himself.

Before the event, according to NJ.com, Trump's personal foundation gave out just $11,000 to veterans' organizations from 2012 to 2014, dwarfed by donations to the Drumthwacket Foundation, which maintains the New Jersey governors' mansion ($20,000); the Citizens United Foundation ($100,000); and the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation ($100,000-250,000).

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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