Outside Trump Towers, a group of rag-tag veterans from different social, political, religious, and ethnic backgrounds united for one common goal: Hold Donald Trump accountable for lying about veterans.
Trump, the presidential candidate and presumptive Republican nominee, came under fire for exaggerating his donations to veterans groups. He claimed to have raised $6 million for veterans after he skipped a January debate in Iowa to have his own televised event.
“It is unacceptable that he made a commitment and failed to live up to it,” said protest organizer and Marine Corps veteran Alexander McCoy. “He said he would raise $6 million for veterans and failed to do it.”
The Washington Post recently reported that the fundraiser made significantly less than $6 million. In response, the campaign initially claimed to have raised $4.5 million, but they later took back that number and said it was unclear how much money was actually raised. Reaching out directly to the veterans groups, The Washington Post was only able to account for $3.1 million in donations tied to Trump’s event.
As a result, the Manhattan business mogul’s home base was chosen as the protest location by a New York-based contingent of 20 or so veterans.
McCoy said the protest was spontaneous and organized through grassroots efforts after he read The Washington Post report.
According to Perry O’Brien, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, “[Trump] has been using veterans to advance an agenda of bigotry and hate that is not shared by the majority of military and veteran community.”
The group, which peacefully protested with signs reading “#VetsVSHate.”
“It’s important for voters to know that Trump has this pattern of using veterans as political props,” McCoy added. “We’re calling on him to apologize to American veterans.”
Watch a video from the protest here.