“Trumpty Dumpty didn’t serve. Trumpty Dumpty broke his word.”
A U.S. Marine Corp veteran held a sign reading those words while standing outside Trump Tower in New York on Monday, calling attention to the Trump campaign’s recent admission that it did not raise $6 million for veterans’ charities as it touted in January.
The group was small — about 20 people, according to Marine Corps veteran Alexander McCoy, who organized the protest. McCoy is with the group High Ground Veterans Advocacy, which works to help troops who were less-than-honorably discharged from the military due to mental health issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or sexual assault.
McCoy, a registered Democrat, told the Hill that he organized the event in response to two recent stories detailing discrepancies between Trump’s pledged donations to veterans’ charities and the actual amount of money they received.
As a veteran, I think it’s unacceptable that he has made promises he is unwilling to keep.
The first story, published by the Washington Post on Friday, quoted Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as saying Trump raised only $4.5 million, not $6 million, for veterans’ groups. The $1.5 million shortfall happened because some wealthy donors had pledged money but ultimately never gave it, Lewandowski reportedly said.
The second story, published later in the day by CNN, quoted Lewandowski as saying the $4.5 million figure was also incorrect. Lewandowski would not detail exactly how much veterans’ charities had received.
For McCoy, the discrepancies indicated that Trump was just using veterans to gain political points. He noted that Trump skipped a Republican presidential debate to hold the fundraiser for veterans, causing a media frenzy — and then boasted about how much he had raised for the groups.
“Donald has attempted to use the respect that American voters have for veterans to obscure the fact that he is completely unfit to be our commander in chief,” McCoy told the Hill. “As a veteran, I think it’s unacceptable that he has made promises he is unwilling to keep.”
Sign at vets' Trump Tower protest: "Trumpty Dumpty didn't serve. Trumpty Dumpty broke his word." pic.twitter.com/AbnvUVUYxX
— Kelly Weill (@KELLYWEILL) May 23, 2016
The saga of Trump’s donations to veterans’ groups began in January, when the then-GOP frontrunner said he would skip Fox News’ scheduled presidential debate in Iowa, and hold a “special event to benefit veterans organizations” instead. Trump apparently wanted to skip the debate because of a dispute he was having with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
The campaign set up a website to take donations — but it provided no details on where the money would go. Later, the campaign published a list of 22 charities that work on behalf of veterans. Since then, various news organizations have contacted the charities to see how much money they have received in total. In April, the Wall Street Journal was able to track down only $2.4 million in donations. The Washington Post was able to find $3.1 million.