The Don continues to not make news, but be the news.
This time Trump lashed out at various journalists in the main stream media calling them a variety of creative names, one ABC News journalist being singled out in an heated exchange, where Trump said, “You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well.”
Classic Trump, and the world is captivated.
Trump, who’d stated at the January fundraiser that his campaign had raised more than $6 million for veterans groups that night, told reporters that his campaign has now sent $5.6 million to a number of veterans groups, which he rattled off one by one in between broadsides at news media audacious enough to ask for corroboration.
“If we could, I wanted to keep it private because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I wanna send money to the vets,” Trump said, after accusing Hillary Clinton’s campaign of sending protesters to picket outside of Trump Tower. “I raised close to $6 million. It’ll probably be over that amount when it’s all said and done, but as of this moment, it’s $5.6 million.”
Trump said a lot of the money was sent “very early” but stressed that the organizations had to be vetted first.
“You have to go through a process. When you send checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars to people and to companies and to groups that you’ve never heard of, charitable organizations, you have to vet it,” Trump said. “You send people out. You do a lot of work. Now, most of the money went out quite a while ago — some of it went out more recently.”
Then the media onslaught began. “The press should be ashamed at themselves, and on behalf of the vets, the press should be ashamed of themselves. They are calling me and they are furious,” Trump said.
“Instead of being like, ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job,’ everyone said: ‘Who got it? Who got it? Who got it?’” Trump said. “And you make me look very bad. I have never received such bad publicity for doing a good job.”
Moments later, he called out Tom Llamas, a journalist with ABC News.
“I could have asked all these groups to come here and I didn’t want to do that. I’m not looking for credit. But what I don’t want is, when I raise millions of dollars, have people say, like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC,” Trump said, pointing to Llamas. “He’s a sleaze in my book. You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well.”
Despite his professions of disgust at the media for forcing him to respond to its lingering questions about his fundraising, Trump held forth with reporters for nearly 45 minutes. He tangled with CNN’s Jim Acosta and Fox News Channel’s Carl Cameron, and blasted Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, who is trying to recruit a mainstream conservative to step forward as an independent candidate to prevent Trump from winning the White House, calling Kristol “a loser” whose magazine “is failing.”
Trump suggested that the reporters’ stories are “probably libelous” and warned that he’s willing to stay on the offensive against the media, all while the television networks continued to broadcast his remarks for free to millions of viewers.
“This is going to phenomenal groups, and I have many of these people vetting the people that are getting the money and working hard and then we have to read probably libelous stories — or certainly close — in the newspapers,” Trump said of the donations. “And the people know the stories are false. I’m gonna continue to attack the press. Look, I find the press to be extremely dishonest. I find the political press to be unbelievably dishonest, I will say that.”
The real estate mogul’s most noteworthy contribution was a $1.1 million donation to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.
“I gave a million dollars to them,” he said, explaining that he was familiar with the organization because it honored him last year with a banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. “They’re a great group.”
Trump said “100 percent” of the organizations received their funds, with the exception of Project for Patriots, a group he said is still being vetted.
“The check is ready to go, but they don’t have all of their appropriate” documentation, he said.
At one point, Trump called on Al Baldasaro, who is leading his campaign’s outreach to veterans, to step to the podium to continue the blasting of the media. Baldasaro, wearing a camouflage-colored “Make America Great Again” hat, urged reporters to stop questioning Trump’s generosity and to focus on actual issues affecting veterans.
“Donald Trump is doing this from the heart. You’re all focused on the way he is raising money, and you’re not looking at the 22 veterans who are killing each other every day,” Baldasaro said. “You’re not concerned about the thousands of veterans that are on waitlists. Look at his plan — on Trump’s website — he talks about medical cards, he talks about fixing the VA, he talks about competition.
“I think the liberal media — and I’ve been dealing with you for a long time — get your heads out of your butts and focus on the real issues,” he concluded.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.