The online fundraising site GoFundMe is refunding all of the more than $21 million raised by a triple-amputee Air Force veteran for building a wall along the U.S/Mexico border, a company spokesman confirmed on Friday.
But earlier on Friday, Kolfage posted on the campaign's page that the roughly $20,188,000 raised by more than 325,000 donors would instead go towards creating a non-profit organization that would build the wall itself.
"Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications," Kolfage wrote.
Shortly after Kolfage changed how the funds would be used, GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne announced that all of the donors would be getting their money back.
"When the campaign was created, the campaign organizer specifically stated on the campaign page, 'If we don't reach our goal or come significantly close we will refund every single penny,'" Whithorne said in a statement to Task & Purpose. "He also stated on the campaign page, '100% of your donations will go to the Trump Wall. If for ANY reason we don't reach our goal we will refund your donation.'"
"However, that did not happen. This means all donors will receive a refund. If a donor does not want a refund, and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization. If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund.
"All donors will be contacted by GoFundMe via email and they can also find the donor form directly on the campaign page."
Kolfage could not be reached for comment on Friday. Task & Purpose's attempt to email him received an automated response saying he was so overwhelmed with messages that "it's literally impossible to respond to each."
"We are moving ahead with a very strong game plan that has major backing that will literally shock the world," the response continues. "We'll be announcing this massive plan in just days as we await our legal team to finish everything ensuring nothing is left unnoticed.
"We are so excited that we made it all happen, and we will be keeping our promise to so many people."
Up to 1,000 U.S. troops could remain in Syria — more than twice as many as originally announced, according to the Wall Street Journal.
President Donald Trump initially announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but U.S. officials said in February that several hundred troops are expected to remain in Syria to create a "safe zone" along the border with Turkey and to man the al-Tanf garrison, which is located along a supply rote that would allow Iran to supply its proxies in Syria.
On Sunday, Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported that the U.S. military is considering leaving as many as 1,000 troops in Syria to prevent Turkey from attacking the United States' Kurdish allies. So far, the United States and Turkey have failed to agree on how to secure the proposed safe zone.
U.S. Army Sgt. James R. Moore of Portland, Ore., a logitstics NCO with the 642nd Regional Support Group, shoots at the Fort Pickett rifle range as part of the Mortuary Affairs Exercise Aug. 15, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte, 642nd Regional Support Group)
White supremacists take part in a march the night before the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, VA. (Associated Press photo)
Seven U.S. service members have reportedly been identified as members of Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group founded by a Marine veteran and tied to the 2017 Charlottesville rally, according to leaked online chat logs examined by HuffPost.
Smoke rises from the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria March 17, 2019 (Reuters)
BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - Falling bombs raised smoke over Islamic State's last enclave in east Syria on Sunday, obscuring the huddle of vehicles and makeshift shelters to which the group's self-declared "caliphate" has been reduced.