Donald “Duck the Debate” Trump is supposedly doing a fundraiser for veterans tomorrow, when he should be on a debate stage getting his ass kicked by Ted Cruz. Quite obviously, though, he is using the vets as a shield. Case in point: he has never bothered to donate much of anything to veterans before:
Donald Trump says he’s skipping the final debate before the Iowa caucuses on Thursday night because he’s upset with Fox News and debate moderator Megyn Kelly. Trump will instead hold a “special event to benefit veterans organizations” in Iowa, according to a campaign press release. But the event could come off as a cheap political stunt exploiting veterans, especially because the Donald J Trump Foundation has been far from generous to veterans organizations over the years.
As Emily Canal of Forbes reported in October: “The Donald J. Trump Foundation has donated $5.5 million to 298 charities between 2009 and 2013 (the most recent year available), according to the non-profit’s 990 tax forms from those years. Of that, only $57,000 has been donated to seven organizations that directly benefit military veterans or their families, Forbes found. Wounded Warriors was not among the organizations Trump’s foundation gave to in that time period.”
Some veterans say that the billionaire has been AWOL when it comes to helping veterans. “Donald Trump is not a leader in veterans’ philanthropy, unless he’s donated a lot of money that nobody knows about,” Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the New York Times in July. “We were founded in New York. We are headquartered in New York. I’ve been here 10 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever even seen Donald Trump.”
Rieckhoff, an Iraq war veteran, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: “If offered, @IAVA will decline donations from Trump’s event. We need strong policies from candidates, not to be used for political stunts.”
Meanwhile, Harry Reid accidentally let it temporarily slip that he loves him some Donald Trump:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) backpedaled Wednesday after joking that, among the current Republican presidential field, he’s considering backing Donald Trump for the nomination.
“Look, we’ve gotten along fine,” the Democratic leader told reporters. “With that bunch of people running, I’m kind of pulling for him.”
Reid made the remark after the GOP front-runner touted his ability to work with top Democrats in Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), expected to be the next Senate Democratic leader.
Asked about Trump’s statement, Reid added, “Oh, I remember the good old days when he did a fundraiser or two for me.”
Reid quickly walked back his comments, apologizing for joking about supporting Trump — whom he called a “hateful demagogue who will do immeasurable damage to our country.”
WHA-WHA-WHA-WHAT’S THAT? People were paying attention?! No, no no no no, Trump and Democrats would not get along AT ALL! Harrumph harrumph!
Anyway, I really thought Trump would attend the debate. I repeat my prediction that this cements his loss in Iowa.
If he really sticks with it. I’m not sure I will believe it until I see it.