Donald Trump, who shunned the Fox News primary debate in Iowa for an event of his own a few miles down the road to raise money for veterans, says his own affair was a success, and he raised $6 million for various military organizations.
In a written statement, his campaign said Trump’s speech at Drake University, which included the participation of fellow GOP presidential contenders Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, raised $5 million before the end of the one-hour event.
“Trump personally contributed $1 million to the cause,” the campaign said.
Some media outlets criticized the Trump website donation page for directing monies received to the billionaire’s foundation, rather than directly to veterans’ organizations.
The Federalist wrote: “The website, which is nothing more than a single page with stock photos and a credit card donation form, claims that ‘100 percent of your donations will go directly to veterans’ needs.’ There’s only one problem: 100 percent of the money raised on the site goes directly to Donald Trump’s personal non-profit foundation, according to a disclosure listed at the bottom of the page.”
And International Business Times reported the website to raise money for the veterans’ causes was not accessible at the time of Trump’s event.
The Trump campaign specified in its release the event “benefited 22 different organizations, a number of which are Iowa-based veterans’ groups,” and said Trump’s been a “major supporter” of veterans’ causes and organizations his entire life.
“Our veterans have been treated like third-class citizens and it is my great honor to support them with this $1 million contribution,” Trump said, in the release. “They are truly incredible people. We are going to strengthen our military, take care of our vets and make American great again.”
The campaign indicated donations for veterans are still being accepted at DonaldTrumpForVets.com and that the full list of organizations benefiting from the Thursday night event is available at DonaldJTrump.com/MilitaryCharities. On Friday morning, that second site registered an error message, “Page not found.”
A couple hours later, the full list was available on the site.
Among the listed beneficiaries:
* American Hero Adventures, providing “stress free, stress relieving and bonding activities to the combat wounded, duty-injured hero and their families.”
* Fisher House Foundation, providing “military families housing close to a loved one during hospitalizations for an illness, disease or injury.”
* K9 For Warriors, providing “service canines to our warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress disability” and other military-related traumas.
* Racing for Heroes, providing for “the gap left by inadequate government resources to support our disabled veterans through advocacy, engagement and racing.”
* The Green Beret Foundation, providing “direct and continuous support to Green Beret communities and its families.”