On Monday, responding to a bombshell report in the New York Times that Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign ripped off his supporters with a reoccurring donation scheme that emptied some donors bank accounts, the former president issued a statement calling the reporting a "highly partisan story" that had no merit.
Buried in the nearly 400-word response (which can be seen below), that was larded with the ex-president praising his election turnout as if he had won, Trump claimed that his fans were very "enthusiastic" about making multiple donations despite the fact that the campaign has been forced by credit card companies to return a whopping $122 million that was deceptively acquired.
As the Times reported, buried deep in the donation page on the Trump campaign site were prechecked boxes authorizing multiple repeat offerings to Trump 2020 that, in one case, emptied the bank account of a cancer patient living at a hospice.
According to MSNBC's Steve Benen, the ex-president's defense was long on bluster and short on facts.
Writing, "The good news is, the former president took the time to respond to the allegations. The bad news is, the Republican's response failed spectacularly to address the core elements of the story," the journalist took aim at Trump claiming, "In fact, many people were so enthusiastic that they gave over and over, and in certain cases where they would give too much, we would promptly refund their contributions. Our overall dispute rate was less than 1% of total online donations, a very low number."
According to Benen, the ex-president was glossing over what occurred.
"Perhaps the former president is confused. The problem is not that 'enthusiastic' Trump supporters voluntarily 'gave over and over.' Rather, the problem is that his donors involuntarily 'gave over and over' because his campaign was running a scam, relying on pre-checked boxes and opaque disclaimers that were designed to be overlooked by unsuspecting contributors," he wrote before adding, "If these supporters wanted to give 'over and over,' the Republican operation wouldn't have found it necessary to rely on tricks and underhanded gimmicks to exploit these donors."
Add to that, Benen wrote, Trump flat-out lied when he called the rate of chargebacks "a very low number."
"That isn't true at all," he charged. "At issue is hundreds of thousands of transactions, far exceeding the totals from other modern presidential campaigns. What's more, the total doesn't include the donors who didn't notice the recurring contributions, or were too embarrassed to contest the charges after their president took advantage of them."
The journalist suggested, "In other words, Trump would have the public believe that the revelations about his latest scam are "misleading," and to bolster his point, he wrote a grand total of two sentences -- both of which were wrong," before concluding, "Given an opportunity to defend his efforts to rip off his own backers, the former president apparently couldn't think of anything persuasive."
You can read the whole piece here and you can see Trump's statement below:
Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America: https://t.co/VaaaYCnxwT— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBN 🇺🇸) 1617651164.0