From: bigstory.ap.org, by Michael Biesecker, Jill Colvin, Steve Peoples, on May 31, 2016, see the article HERE.Garnet92’s commentary: For this particular piece, I’m inserting my comments into the article to more closely associate my comment with the statement that triggered it. My comments are easily identified as the italicized blue text. The comments are my own and don’t necessarily reflect the position of the authors or anyone else.
NEW YORK (AP) — More than a dozen big checks flowed out of New York last week, bound for veterans’ charities from Donald Trump. On Tuesday, he announced he had made good on his promise of last January to give the groups millions of dollars from a highly publicized fundraiser.
The announcement by the presumptive Republican presidential candidate came in the midst of a 40-minute rant against “dishonest” and “sleazy” reporters who have been pressing the issue.
That is laughable. There would have been no need for the reporters to “press” the issue if Trump had been more forthright about the dissemination of the veteran’s funds – and HE calls them “sleazy” and “dishonest.” It’s now some four months after the fundraiser – more than enough time to have disbursed the funds. Why was he dragging his feet? That smacks more of sleaze and dishonesty than the reporters who were asking about the distribution of the veteran’s money.
The largest donation, a $1 million check dated May 24 and drawn from Donald J. Trump’s personal account, was addressed to a small Tuckahoe, New York, group that provides scholarships to the children of fallen Marines.
Trump had been interviewed that same day by The Washington Post, which for weeks had been raising questions about where the promised money was, urging him to disclose recipients of the millions raised during a splashy telethon-style fundraiser he held in Iowa in January in place of a Fox debate he was boycotting.
Simply a coincidence? Pure happenstance that the $1 million check just happened to be written on the same day of the Washington Post interview? If you believe that, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Dallas you need to see.
At a news conference Tuesday, Trump released a list of 41 groups he said had received $5.6 million.
But prior to the fundraiser, his campaign released a list of 22 veteran’s groups that had already been vetted and to which the proceeds would go. Now it’s up to 41 groups? I wonder what happened to that original list – did some of them not want the money? I trust that, in the spirit of full disclosure, that we’ll be given the list of 41 groups now receiving the funds.
“Most of the money went out quite a while ago,” Trump said. “Some of it went out more recently. But all of this has gone out.”
Yes, some of the funds went out some time ago. The Wall Street Journal, citing a survey of the 22 groups listed by Trump’s campaign as prospective recipients for the money, reported in April that 19 organizations had obtained a total of $2.4 million from Trump’s foundation or associates.
Throughout Tuesday’s confrontational event, Trump repeatedly slammed the media as “unbelievably dishonest” for its treatment of the issue and dismissed an ABC reporter as “a sleaze.” He said many times that he didn’t want credit for the fundraising but seemed peeved that he wasn’t thanked for it.
“Instead of being like, ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job,’ everyone’s saying, ‘Who got it? Who got it? Who got it?’ And you make me look very bad,” Trump complained, taking on reporters in the room. “I have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job.”
This is an excellent example of Donald Trump’s personality. It’s obvious that once he got the publicity from the fundraiser, his job was done. Actually collecting the pledges and disbursing the funds weren’t important to him, only the good press he got for conducting the fundraising event for the veterans. It may be a portent of a Trump administration – great on the promises, crappy on the execution.
The Associated Press spoke or left messages with each of the organizations Trump named. Of the 30 groups that responded by Tuesday, about half said they had received checks from Trump just last week.
Several said the checks were dated May 24 — the same date as Trump’s interview with The Post, and shipped out overnight express.
Whattaya know – another coincidence. It looks like on or about May 24th, Mr. Trump decided that he could evade the subject no longer and told his people to write the checks and overnight them to the vet’s groups. But why did it take four months to finally write the checks? Hmmm, could it be that The Donald is a natural deadbeat? Those funds were over 90 days past due.
Among them was the big check from Trump himself, written to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. Trump’s campaign had previously told the newspaper that his promised $1 million personal donation had already been distributed.
Though the foundation had received a $100,000 check from Trump’s charity in March, last week’s $1 million donation came as something of a surprise.
That pretty much tells us that Trump’s million dollar contribution hadn’t been made yet when the group received their $100,000 check.
“It is obviously a wonderful donation,” said Sue Boulhosa, the group’s executive director and sole employee. She said the group had “an inkling” that more might come but the amount was a happy surprise.
Trump has a longstanding relationship with the group, which Boulhosa said typically raises a total of between $2 million and $3 million a year. The foundation had presented Trump with an award at its 2015 gala held at a New York hotel.
Aha, the group presented Mr. Ego with an award last year, so they won the Trump Veteran’s Sweepstakes.
Appearing on CNN Tuesday, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said she was glad that Trump had given out the promised money.
“The problem here is the difference between what Donald Trump says and what Donald Trump does,” Clinton said. “He’s bragged for months about raising $6 million for vets and donating $1 million himself, but it took a reporter to shame him into actually making the contribution.”
As much as I hate to admit it, Hillary is spot on in her comment.
Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had originally told the Post that the event had raised about $4.5 million — less than the $6 million originally announced by Trump — because some who’d pledged had backed out. Lewandowski also said all the money had been given out.
Lewandowski is cut from the same cloth as Trump, a coarse weave of deception and dishonesty.
Trump had claimed during the fundraiser that he’d raised $6 million through a combination of pledges from wealthy friends, the public and $1 million from himself.
I posted a video in which Trump can be seen telling the crowd that the fundraiser had just crossed the $6 million mark.
But the campaign refused for months to disclose which charities had received the money, leading to questions about whether the money raised was less than he had said.
“It was very unfair that the press treated us so badly,” Trump complained Tuesday.
You brought it on yourself, sport. I’ve said before that Trump could have disbursed ALL $6 million within 30 days of the event, funding it out of his own pocket and reimbursing himself when the donors sent their funds. He would have been seen as a hero (and rightfully so) and the publicity would have been worth millions by itself. Why didn’t he? Good question, it would have been so easy to do the right thing.
He suggested he had hoped to keep the donations private. However, Trump hadn’t appeared shy about giving away poster-sized checks at campaign events in the weeks after the fundraiser.
On Jan. 30, just before the campaign’s leadoff caucuses in Iowa, he gave a $100,000 check to the Puppy Jake Foundation, which provides service dogs to wounded veterans. Representatives from the foundation, accompanies by several service dogs, accepted the check at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa, where Trump was being interviewed on stage by Jerry Falwell Jr.
The next day, in Council Bluffs, Trump presented another check, also for $100,000, to Partners for Patriots, which also provides service dogs to disabled veterans.
The public presentations trickled off within days, though some of the groups contacted by AP did report receiving checks in February, March and April.
Does that sound like Trump wanted to keep the donations private? Not if there was an opportunity for glorification of His Trumpness.
But the biggest batch appeared to have gone out May 24, with several of the groups saying they had no contact with the Trump organization before that.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied Tuesday that timing had anything to do with questions from the media.
Of course not [dripping sarcasm]. Once he was convinced that he could no longer evade reporter’s questions and he committed to full disclosure at a press conference scheduled for today, he had no choice but to make sure that all of the checks went out. He couldn’t tell the truth (he is psychologically incapable of telling the truth), he had to be able to state that all money had been sent to the vet’s groups.
“Mr. Trump’s team worked very hard to complete this lengthy process prior to Memorial Day Weekend,” she said. The campaign also said it had taken months to carefully vet each of the groups receiving money.
Yeah right, but didn’t his campaign specifically state that all of the 22 groups they released had already been vetted? That’s what they said on the night of the fundraiser. Were they lying then, or lying now? I wonder …
My friends, I’m very much afraid that this veteran’s fundraising event and its aftermath is a microcosm of what we can expect if Donald Trump is elected president. I think that we’ve been privy to a preview of Trump’s “management style” and just imagine our economy and foreign relations being treated as Trump’s personal chew-toy. I am thoroughly disgusted and seriously worried.