U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sharply criticized the news media on Tuesday for asking questions about what happened to contributions he raised for U.S. military veterans groups.
At a combative news conference at Trump Tower, the billionaire detailed $5.6 million from a fund-raising effort in January in Iowa.
“The press should be ashamed of themselves,” Trump said. “You make me look very bad. I’ve never received such bad publicity for doing a good job.”
He called an ABC News reporter at the event “sleazy.”
Trump said the effort had raised $5.6 million and was being distributed to 41 groups that are dedicated to helping military veterans. He said the total could climb higher as more money comes in.
Trump turned the microphone over briefly to Al Baldasaro, a Trump supporter and a veteran from New Hampshire who also skewered the news media, saying reporters should “get your head out of your butt and focus on the real issues.”
Trump read out a list of veterans’ organizations that had received money from the January event, which he attended instead of participating in a Fox News-sponsored candidates’ debate.
(Additional reporting by Amanda Becker and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Alistair Bell)