Donald Trump and his team are aggressively defending his fundraising for veterans charities, disparaging news reports that say the actual amount raised is shy of the $6 million the Republican presidential candidate claims.
Monday night, Trump tweeted that he had raised more than $5 million.
Reporters have been asking for proof.
The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold said Trump’s January fundraiser was “a huge boost” for veterans groups that got money, but that only $4.45 million can be loosely verified—$3.75 million from seven donors, and the $670,000 Team Trump says online donors gave.
On CNN Tuesday morning, host Chris Cuomo defended the media, arguing with Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump.
“I ask you where’s the money, who’d you give it to, you can’t tell me and that’s my fault?” Cuomo told Cohen. “It’s how much did you take it, how much did you pay out. These are simple questions. Simple. This isn’t jaundiced, this isn’t unfair reporting.”
Cohen fired back: “So right now if it’s $4 or 5 million, whatever the exact amount may be, that’s a lot of money for one person to raise, which he did by electing to skip a debate that he knew would be unfair to him. So if he blames the liberal media, I think he’s justified.”
Trump skipped the Fox News debate in Iowa shortly before the first-in-the-nation presidential contest because of a grudge against one of the moderators, Megyn Kelly. His Iowa team staged an alternate event instead—a rally on the same night as the debate meant to raise money for veterans.
In an Instagram message posted later Tuesday morning, Trump doubled down on his $6 million number.
“I raised almost $6 million for the veterans, including putting up $1 million of my own money. I had no obligation to do anything or to do so and I get nothing but bad press from the dishonest media. It is absolutely disgraceful. Why don’t they look into the Clinton Foundation, you want to see dishonesty,” he says in the Instagram video.
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