In a new report from the Associated Press, it’s abundantly clear that the only reason Donald Trump forked over all the money he reportedly raised for veterans groups is because the media pressed him on it.
“Most of the money went out quite a while ago,” Trump said in a whiny news conference on Tuesday. “Some of it went out more recently. But all of this has gone out.”
But according to the AP, half of the organizations that Trump promised donations in January said they didn’t receive checks until last week, just as the unallocated money was beginning to receive greater media scrutiny.
In fact, some of the checks sent to veterans groups were dated May 24, the exact day Trump was urged by The Washington Post to disclose which groups received the millions he raised months ago during his publicity stunt in Iowa.
Of the checks written on the day of Trump’s interview with The Post was a $1 million check written by Trump himself – an amount his campaign had falsely said was already donated by Trump.
It’s clear that, all along, Trump has been using American veterans as props. Initially, he assumed he would score short-term political points and avoid having to debate his primary opponents, but the media did its job and shamed him into putting his money where his mouth is.
As Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday in a CNN interview,”The problem here is the difference between what Donald Trump says and what Donald Trump does,” the likely Democratic nominee said. “He’s bragged for months about raising $6 million for vets and donating $1 million himself, but it took a reporter to shame him into actually making the contribution.”
Donald Trump can whine about the “unfair” press all he wants as he did today during his rant at Trump Tower, but the rest of us should take it as a sign that the media are starting to give Trump the scrutiny that he has deserved all along.