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Donald Trump has repeatedly complained about his media coverage this week after a pair of Washington Post stories revealed that he exaggerated the money raised from a much-touted charity fundraising event.
“Amazingly, with all of the money I have raised for the vets, I have got nothing but bad publicity from the dishonest and disgusting media,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee tweeted Monday.
“What this really does is show the dishonest slime back there with all the cameras,” he added at a Tuesday night rally in Albequerque, N.M. “Look at them. Look at them. No, it’s slime.”
In January, Trump held a televised fundraiser on behalf of veterans charities instead of going to a Fox News primary debate. At the time, he was feuding with the cable news network. He said that the event “cracked” $6 million and that he had personally given a substantial amount.
“Donald Trump gave $1 million, OK?” Trump said at the Des Moines, Iowa, event.
But the billionaire developer didn’t actually move to fulfill that amount until Monday evening of this week, according to a Post story published the next day. He reportedly promised the entire $1 million sum to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation and said he needed the four months since his fundraiser to vet the group. But the Post story noted that Trump’s foundation had previously given more than $230,000 to the organization, which honored him at a gala last year.
That promise came after various media outlets asked for months whether the fundraiser had actually distributed the amount touted by Trump. On Monday, he criticized a Post reporter for asking if he had only given the $1 million because of the media scrutiny.
“You know, you’re a nasty guy. You’re really a nasty guy,” he replied. “I gave out millions of dollars that I had no obligation to do.”
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said last week that the candidate had already contributed the $1 million. “Mr. Trump’s money is fully spent,” he was quoted saying.
In another story, Lewandowski told the Post that Trump’s event had raised only $4.5 million, not $6 million. He attributed the shortfall to donors who had not fulfilled their pledges. But Trump said at the Tuesday night rally that the number was more than $5.5 million.
Trump told the Post that he “didn’t say” the fundraiser raised $6 million and asked a reporter to play a tape confirming he had said it — which he had. In January, he bragged, “We just cracked $6 million, right? $6 million.”
Additionally, Trump tweeted at least five times that he raised “$6,000,000” at the event. He even tweeted once that the total was “$6,000,000.00.”
For his part, Trump repeatedly pointed out this week that he had no “obligation” to raise money for veterans charities.
“I didn’t have to do it. I didn’t have to do it. But I love the vets,” he said at his Tuesday rally in Albuquerque.
“All of a sudden it’s over $5 million,” he recalled of his January event. “And I said, ‘That’s great.’ And all of a sudden this dishonest slime, they start writing stories like ‘Why didn’t this group get it? Why didn’t the money go here? Why isn’t the money going out fast enough?’”