A veterans' advocacy group weighed in on the Washington Post's Saturday revelation that GOP candidate Donald Trump did not, as he claimed, raise $6 million for veterans at a January fundraiser.
According to the Post, Trump skipped out on a GOP debate in January and instead held a fundraiser for veterans. Afterward, Trump had boasted about the event's success, saying “We just cracked $6 million, right? Six million.”
Actually, Trump only raised about 75 percent of that, with the total coming in at about $4.5 million, his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, admitted.
“There were some individuals who he’d spoken to, who were going to write large checks, [who] for whatever reason . . . didn’t do it,” Lewandowski told the Post. “I can’t tell you who.”
In response, VoteVets, which describes itself as the largest progressive veterans group in America, called Trump a "cheap fraud."
"Donald Trump is a cheap fraud," said Iraq veteran and VoteVets chairman Jon Soltz in a scathing press release. "In a classic fraud move, made himself look good to the public, by lying to the American people, and veterans, about how much he raised for veterans’ groups, when he hid behind them to get out of the GOP debate."
Trump had dropped out of the January debate after a public spat with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who he had accused of unfairly questioning him during the first Republican debate.
"We now need to presume that he is lying about how much he claims he has given to veterans over the years, and that’s part of the reason he won’t release his taxes," Soltz continued. "Releasing them would likely show that he’s not given as much to veterans’ groups over the years as he claims – if he’s even given to them at all. Another lie and another fraud."
According to the Post, Lewandowski's admission is the first time the Trump campaign has admitted it brought in less than it claimed during the fundraiser.
The Post still found, by way of interviews with various charities, $3.1 million in donations. And when given out, the money has helped groups like Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which used the funds for educational grants aimed at the children of soldiers killed on active duty.
The most recent check was given out in March, the Post reports, and Trump has refused reporters' requests for documentation.
“Why should I give you records?” Trump told the Post this month. “I don’t have to give you records.”
That answer isn't good enough for Soltz, who said that Trump needs to make good on $6 million, since he promised $6 million.
"Donald Trump promised $6 million to veterans," Soltz wrote. "Now he needs to deliver, by personally forking over the millions of dollars he said he raised, but didn’t. It won’t make up for his lies, but may make him think twice about letting his mouth write checks that no one can cash."