(NEW YORK) — Of the 41 veterans groups Trump claims he has sent donations totaling $5.6 million, at least 14 said they received the money — representing 35 percent of the total cash — last week after questions were raised about where the cash was going.
Of those 14 organizations, 11 said they had never received previous donations from or through Trump. Three of those groups, Achilles International, the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund — said they had received some money earlier this year, in the months following Trump’s Jan. 28 Des Moines, IA veterans fundraiser, but also received donations last week.
Several groups reached by ABC News said that they received money in the two months after the fundraiser.
Also last week, Trump handed over the $1 million he said he was personally going to donate — to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.
He blamed the delay on the vetting 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,” he said. “You send people out. You do a lot of work. Now, Most of the money went out quite a while ago.”
On the night of his January fundraiser, Trump said he had raised $6 million, which included a $1 million personal donation. Reporting from the Washington Post last week indicated that, counter to statements from the Trump campaign, the candidate hadn’t yet made his $1 million donation. Following those reports, the Donald J. Trump Foundation committed $1.1 million to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.
Aside from that donation and $100,000 to Achilles International, all the other organizations told ABC News that they had received money last week — and responded to ABC’s inquiries — got $75,000.
Gina Franano, Executive Director of Connected Warriors Inc., which received $75,000 last week, told ABC News she knew a donation was coming for at least three weeks, but initially requested one in January.
“I didn’t think it was odd,” she said of the gap between the time she sent a letter and the time she received a response. “When you apply for grants or money it takes months.”
However, the Armed Services YMCA of the USA, which also received a $75,000 donation last week, said it received a phone call from the Trump Foundation only a day before getting a check.
“They confirmed information from us and told us they would be sending us a check,” Chris Haley, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the organization, told ABC News. “We had not reached out [to Trump] at all.”
Seven of the organizations that received money last week that ABC News was able to contact said the contribution was unsolicited.
But that doesn’t mean they weren’t pleased to receive the funds.
“We do a lot for military families, wounded troops, and I guess they had heard about it and wanted to help,” said Tom Kilgannon of the Freedom Alliance, which also received a $75,000 donation. “We’re grateful for the support.”
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