In late January, Donald Trump decided not to attend a Fox News debate because one of the network’s moderators had a history of asking him difficult questions. Instead, the GOP front-runner held a fundraiser for veterans, raising $6 million for our returning warriors, including $1 million from his own wallet.
Or so he said. Over the ensuing months, the mogul offered few details about what had actually become of that cash. More than a week ago, Trump’s campaign manager told the Washington Post that the Donald had already donated $1 million — but refused to identify the recipient of that gift. Post reporter David Fahrenthold then surveyed various veterans’ groups on Twitter, asking if any of them had received $1 million from Trump. None had. The GOP nominee saw Farenthold’s inquiries and responded by calling the media “dishonest and disgusting” — and then called Farenthold to say that he had just now made the $1 million donation. Four months after the fundraiser. Which just so happens to be exactly the amount of time it took to vet the relevant charities, so, clearly, Fahrenthold’s disgusting badgering had nothing to do with his decision to finally, actually send the money he’d promised.
On Tuesday, Trump gave further details on his donations. Although he claimed to have raised $6 million in January, the GOP nominee now says he raised $5.6 million. He also provided the names of specific organizations that benefited from his largesse. But he spent the bulk of his press conference scolding the “dishonest” media for its “unfair” smears. The GOP nominee explained that any time he claims to have given money to a charity, the media’s job is to believe him, thank him, and ask no further questions.
“The press should be ashamed of themselves,” Trump complained. “Instead of being, like, ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job,’ You say, ‘Well, who got it? Who got it? … And it makes me look very bad.”
Trump also shamed the media for forcing him to “take credit” for the donations. Apparently, he had wanted to make his gifts anonymously (which is why he raised the money at a nationally televised campaign event).
“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 lamented.
The Republican nominee went on to call ABC News journalist Tom Llamas a “sleaze.” When Llamas asked what made him a sleaze, Trump replied, “You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well.”
In a sense, this was the Donald’s most honest answer of the afternoon: Any journalist who “knows the facts well” is “a sleaze” in Trump’s eyes.
“Is this what it’s going to be like covering you if you’re president?” one reporter asked near the event’s end.
“Yeah, it is,” the man hoping to oversee the NSA, CIA, FBI, and IRS in eight months replied. “I’m going to continue to attack the press.”