A shady Trump supporter’s massive GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to pay for the President’s wall has been exposed as a slush fund for Republican grifters, while the service says they will be refunding the entire thing.
The campaign founder, Brian Kolfage, was forced to admit defeat on the Trump’s Wall GoFundMe page earlier today after raising an astonishing $20 million from 337,000 donors but failing to come close to his wildly overambitious target of $1 billion.
Accordingly, GoFundMe released a statement that Kolfage’s group will have to give all of the cash back since they can’t meet their stated goal of raising a billion dollars, which would somehow then be given to the government to build a wall.
The Daily Beast reports:
“When the campaign was created, the campaign organizer specifically stated on the campaign page, ‘If we don’t reach our goal or come significantly close we will refund every single penny,’” GoFundMe’s statement reads.
“He also stated on the campaign page, ‘100% of your donations will go to the Trump Wall. If for ANY reason we don’t reach our goal we will refund your donation.’ However, that did not happen.”
Perhaps realizing that there was no way he could siphon off any money from a GoFundMe, Kolfage announced on Friday that instead he would be forming a “nonprofit” organization, We Build the Wall, Inc., to build the wall himself.
In a statement, Kolfage wrote “We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border. Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications.”
The non-profit’s board is a who’s who of right-wing grifters and devious scumbags like mercenary kingpin Erik Prince, murder sheriff David Clarke, and former Trump vote suppression czar Kris Kobach.
Before starting the absurd wall crowdfunding campaign, Kolfage earned a fortune on pushing deliberately fake news before being banished from Facebook and it’ll come as no surprise to learn that he has a long track record of stealing from GoFundMe campaigns for veterans.
Unless donors proactively decide to waste their wasted money to build Trump’s wall on Kolfage’s scam charity, they’ll get a refund, reports The Hill:
“However, that did not happen. This means all donors will receive a refund,” [GoFundMe’s spokesman] continued.
“If a donor does not want a refund, and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization. If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund.”
Experts have been saying for weeks that the “Trump’s Wall” GoFundMe would fail even if it miraculously raised the $25 billion needed.
Citizens may donate funds to the US Treasury, but all spending and appropriations still require an act of Congress to build the border wall. A wall bill is no more likely for a fake news-ing Trump supporter than it is for the President himself, so long as Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds the gavel in the House.
Original reporting by Lachlan Markay and Will Sommer at The Daily Beast.