— -- Responding to questions about his contributions to veterans’ charities, Donald Trump detailed today the groups that have shared the millions he said he collected at his Iowa fundraiser in January.
“I raised close to $6 million. It will probably be over that amount when it's all said and done, but as of this moment, it’s $5.6 million,” Trump asserted today at a news conference at Trump Tower in New York.
Trump said the money has been distributed, blaming the delay on the need to vet the groups.
“I had teams of people reviewing statistics, reviewing numbers and also talking to people in the military to find out whether or not the group was deserving of the money,” the presumptive Republican nominee told reporters.
He continued, “I wanted to keep it private because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I want to send money to the vets.”
Reading from a list, Trump said he gave money to various veterans’ charities, including Hope for the Warriors, Homes for Our Troops, the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust and K9s for Warriors. The largest contribution Trump listed was $1.1 million to the Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation.
Trump said that while he wasn’t “too involved” in picking the organizations, he gave the money to Marine Corps–Law Enforcement because they are “fabulous people.”
Instead of appearing on an Iowa stage with his presidential competitors at a Jan. 28 Republican debate, Trump hosted what his campaign called a “special event to benefit veterans organizations” that night, later saying it raised $6 million. Later, questions arose as to which organizations benefited from the event, when the groups received the funds and how much was allocated. Trump announced last week he had donated $1 million of his own money.
Trump today criticized the media for being “dishonest” and “unfair,” saying he has never received such “bad publicity” for doing a “good job.”
“I don’t want the credit for it, but I shouldn’t be lambasted,” he insisted.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, unveiled a proposal on veterans and their families and hosted a national press call with Florida veterans to “call out Donald Trump’s hypocrisy,” according to a campaign press release
In New York, veterans organized by an outside Democratic group protested outside Trump Tower during the real estate mogul’s news conference.