Donald Trump says that the event he is holding Thursday in Iowa opposite the Fox News GOP debate will raise money to help veterans. But as the event’s donation website shows, the money will first go through Trump’s personal charity, which appears to have contributed more money to the Clinton Foundation than to veterans groups.
According to The Federalist, Trump set up donaldtrumpforvets.com Thursday morning after announcing that he would not be attending the final debate before the Iowa caucuses because Fox News refused to remove Megyn Kelly as a moderator. Trump and Kelly have feuded since the first GOP debate in August.
After announcing that he was ducking the contest, Trump said he would hold his own event during the same time slot as the Fox debate and that it would air on competing networks. The real estate billionaire said he would sweeten the deal by using his pulpit to raise money for veterans groups.
But the GOP front-runner did not initially specify if the money would come from his own pocket, which groups would receive money and how they would be paid. No veterans group has come forward to claim that they are working with Trump on the event.
Trump’s new website does clear up one question while raising others.“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,” reads the site, which The Federalist reports was created by the same company that made Trump’s presidential campaign website.
Routing the money through the Donald J. Trump Foundation is a curious choice since the charity has linked up with the charity of Trump’s potential presidential competitor. The Donald J. Trump Foundation gave at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation between 2009 and 2013, according to a Forbes analysis. During that same period, Trump’s charity gave only $57,000 to vet-related organizations.
Trump’s fundraiser is showing early signs of success, however. More than $180,000 has been raised so far, according to the website.