Donald Trump is proving, yet again, that he sees charity as a cheap means for publicity, and not a cause he actually believes in. Three months ago, when he refused to attend a debate because he was unhappy with Fox News and held a fundraiser for veterans charities instead. Supposedly that even raised $6 million for charities, but so far, at most only about half of that money has actually been delivered. Various news outlets have investigated the issue, and to date, CNN has only been able to track down $2.9 million.
Where is the rest of the money? Nobody, outside of the Trump campaign, can figure that out, and the Trump campaign won’t speak about it. Even Al Baldasaro, who acts as Trump’s advisor on veterans’ issues and was instrumental in organizing the fundraiser, won’t talk about it. And he keeps saying that it isn’t his problem, and that he has more important things to worry about. He also said that none of his veteran constituents ever asked him where that money went. These kinds of statements do not paint Baldasaro or Trump in a positive light, and the last seems impossible.
Money raised for charity has to be handed over to the charities; it doesn’t go in the pocket of the fundraiser, or go towards their election campaign. But Trump has a history of refusing to tell anyone what he does with his, or anybody else’s money, and of claiming charitable actions while actually doing nothing of the sort.
And most of the charities named as recipients for that $6 million have no idea where it is, or when to expect it, either. They simply haven’t been contacted or told anything about the funds, but naming them and then raising $6 million in their honor seems like a pretty clear message that those charities should be receiving some donations.