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Big Trump checks to vets groups sent on day of media report

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

NEW YORK >> More than a dozen big checks flowed out of New York last week, bound for veterans’ charities from Donald Trump. On Tuesday, he announced he had made good on his promise of last January to give the groups millions of dollars from a highly publicized fundraiser.

The announcement by the presumptive Republican presidential candidate came in the midst of a 40-minute rant against “dishonest” and “sleazy” reporters who have been pressing the issue.

The largest donation, a $1 million check dated May 24 and drawn from Donald J. Trump’s personal account, was addressed to a small Tuckahoe, New York, group that provides scholarships to the children of fallen Marines.

Trump had been interviewed that same day by The Washington Post, which for weeks had been raising questions about where the promised money was, urging him to disclose recipients of the millions raised during a splashy telethon-style fundraiser he held in Iowa in January in place of a Fox debate he was boycotting.

At a news conference Tuesday, Trump released a list of 41 groups he said had received $5.6 million.

“Most of the money went out quite a while ago,” Trump said. “Some of it went out more recently. But all of this has gone out.”

Throughout Tuesday’s confrontational event, Trump repeatedly slammed the media as “unbelievably dishonest” for its treatment of the issue and dismissed an ABC reporter as “a sleaze.” He said many times that he didn’t want credit for the fundraising but seemed peeved that he wasn’t thanked for it.

“Instead of being like, ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job,’ everyone’s saying: ‘Who got it? Who got it? Who got it?’ And you make me look very bad,” Trump complained, taking on reporters in the room. “I have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job.”

The Associated Press spoke or left messages with each of the organizations Trump named. Of the 30 groups that responded by Tuesday, about half said they had received checks from Trump just last week.

Several said the checks were dated on or about May 24 — the date as Trump’s interview with the Post — and shipped out overnight.

Among them was the big check from Trump himself, written to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. Trump’s campaign had previously told the newspaper that his promised $1 million personal donation had already been distributed.

Though the foundation had received a $100,000 check from Trump’s charity in March, last week’s $1 million donation came as something of a surprise.

“It is obviously a wonderful donation,” said Sue Boulhosa, the group’s executive director and sole employee. She said the group had “an inkling” that more might come but the amount was a happy surprise.

Trump has a longstanding relationship with the group, which Boulhosa said typically raises a total of between $2 million and $3 million a year. The foundation had presented Trump with an award at its 2015 gala held at a New York hotel.

Appearing on CNN Tuesday, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said she was glad Trump had given out the promised money.

“The problem here is the difference between what Donald Trump says and what Donald Trump does,” Clinton 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.”

Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had originally told the Post that the event had raised about $4.5 million — less than the $6 million originally announced by Trump — because some who’d pledged had backed out. Lewandowski also said all the money had been given out.

Trump had claimed during the fundraiser that he’d raised $6 million through a combination of pledges from wealthy friends, the public and $1 million from himself.

But the campaign refused for months to disclose which charities had received the money, leading to questions about whether the money raised was less than he had said.

“It was very unfair that the press treated us so badly,” Trump complained Tuesday.

He suggested he had hoped to keep the donations private. However, Trump hadn’t appeared shy about giving away poster-sized checks at campaign events in the weeks after the fundraiser.

On Jan. 30, just before the campaign’s leadoff caucuses in Iowa, he gave a $100,000 check to the Puppy Jake Foundation, which provides service dogs to wounded veterans. Representatives from the foundation, accompanied by several service dogs, accepted the check at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa, where Trump was being interviewed on stage by Jerry Falwell Jr.

The next day, in Council Bluffs, Trump presented another check, also for $100,000, to Partners for Patriots, which also provides service dogs to disabled veterans.

The public presentations trickled off within days, though some of the groups contacted by the AP did report receiving checks in February, March and April.

But the biggest batch appeared to have gone out around May 24, with several of the groups saying they had no contact with the Trump organization before that.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied Tuesday that timing had anything to do with questions from the media.

“Mr. Trump’s team worked very hard to complete this lengthy process prior to Memorial Day Weekend,” she said. The campaign also said it had taken months to carefully vet each of the groups receiving money.

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Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire contributed from New York.

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Follow Michael Biesecker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mbieseck

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  • Mr. Trump had been lying all along, of course, as he always does. He consistently lied about having sent the money, and actually did so only after reporters dogged him about who received what.

    “I love the poorly educated!” Go Trump!

      • Mr. Trump is a pathological liar. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s someone who lies when he knows the person he’s talking to knows that what is being said is a lie. He’s simply incapable of saying truthful things. It’s one of the most entertaining campaigns imaginable.

        The sad thing about this campaign is seeing how many gullible people there are in this country. Mr. Trump is without any question whatever the least qualified person ever nominated by a political party for President. He’s an international laughingstock.

        Thankfully, there are insufficient failed and angry white men to elect him.

        • You’re proudly voting for Hillary, and you have the audacity to criticize someone else’s voting choice?

        • Let us hope so- the combination of rabid, moronic Trump supporters and those disgusted by the presumed alternative- corporocrat Hillary- may engender a voter turnout with scary possibilities. That a transparently buffoonish narcissist like Trump can be seriously considered for president says something sad about how America has devolved.

        • hawaiikone – Who said I’m voting for Mrs. Clinton? Can you just once not lie?

        • klas, several weeks ago you said you’re voting for Clinton. If you’re denying that now, then we know who the real liar is..

        • hawaiikone – Find that comment and repost it. You make up this type of thing constantly. Every day.

        • I’m supposed to spend hours going back over many weeks of comments? Not likely, even if I knew how. I’ll let the forum readers decide who’s telling the truth here. Why not show us just one lying post I’ve put up? Should be easy, since according to you I do it every day..

        • hawaiikone – So you have nothing and just made up the whole thing. Understood. Not a big shock.

        • Now boys, let’s play fair and acknowledge that we have a choice between two pathological lying narcissists. One has built a business empire, the other has given a lot of very high priced speeches. We’re left with nothing but poor choices. At least Trump has accomplished something tangible. The other, not so much unless you count self-enrichment

        • klastri says:
          February 22, 2016 at 10:09 am
          You’re wrong of course, as you usually are. Hillary will win the election in a landslide.

        • klastri says:
          March 15, 2016 at 5:14 pm
          Wasting your vote may not be the best strategy, but if you live in Hawai’i, your vote for Johnson won’t matter in a practical sense. Mrs. Clinton will will in a landslide, and will do so nationally. The best thing – and it’s great! – is that if Trump is the Republican nominee, the Senate will probably switch back to Democratic control. YEA!

        • klastri says:
          March 18, 2016 at 10:07 am
          If you are suggesting that a SCOTUS nominee was ever denied a hearing and an up or down vote before, you are lying. This is the first time this has ever happened. After Mrs. Clinton wins by a landslide – and the Senate hopefully switches to Democratic control – Mr. McConnell and his fellow obstructionists will be wishing for a centrist like Merrick Garland. That’s not what they’ll get from President Clinton. Go Trump! And “take it back” from who? There were elections and elections have consequences.

        • hawaiikone – If you think that says anywhere that I’m voting for Mrs. Clinton, you need to have a friend read those comments to you. So you have nothing, of course.

          I accept your apology.

        • “klastri says:
          March 29, 2016 at 9:49 am
          Either way, Mrs. Clinton wins by a landslide”.

          Cute. But the gist of all the above certainly don’t lead anyone to suspect you’re voting for Trump. Apology accepted..

        • And, the coup de gras, “klastri says:
          February 22, 2016 at 7:23 am
          It’s not implied. I’m voting for whichever of them is in the D column.” As your preceding comments have indicated, you’re confident Hillary will be the one. End of transmissions…

        • hawaiikone – So you still can’t find any comment in which I wrote that I’m voting for Mrs. Clinton. But it sure is flattering to know that you spent hours searching through comments only to fail.

          Don’t you have anything else to do?

  • at least the money was delivered.

    meanwhile, the congenital liar, hiliar, has stonewalled staff testimony in investigations into her felony misuses of classified and ubs materials sent to, collected by, shared at and distributed by her private email server. for all her posturing and deflections promising full cooperation and complete answers to investigators, her army of lawyers have obstructed and prevented investigators from obtaining full and complete cooperation and answers from hiliar’s coconspirators.

      • Title 18, United States Code, Section 798
        Title 18, United States Code, Section 793
        Title 18, United States Code, Section 2071
        All from the 1917 Espionage Act
        Any violation is Felonious…

        • You don’t understand it either. Not a particular surprise. There will never be any charges brought against Mrs. Clinton because no crime has been committed. Get used to that fact.

        • bubba: imagine how many changes of pants hiliar’s lawyer went through when he realized the number and variety of the felony laws that were violated in the transfer and receipt and storage of hiliar’s email hard drive.

        • st1d – How about no felonies? You would be well served to not play lawyer or prosecutor, since you don’t seem skilled at either. No matter your fantasy about this, it’s not going to happen.

        • klastri – what you don’t seem to realize is there is an FBI investigation going on. Until the results clear her from all the allegations, you can say that no crime has been committed. Until then you can pull your cranium out of your ignorant posterior.

        • bubbaButt – I’m a defense attorney. I can say it now. There was no crime committed. There will never be a conviction of any kind.

  • A Novice politician, in a world of “professionals” like a bull in a china shop! He must carefully maneuvers himself around less he destroys all the fine china wares!

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