The wounded Iraq veteran who raised $22 million to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border insists that his donors' money is being used for its intended purpose, but declined to offer evidence to Task & Purpose since a "major network" is apparently about to do a big exclusive that would put to rest any concerns over the group's finances.
Brian Kolfage, who lost both legs and his right arm while serving with Air Force security forces in Iraq in 2004, said he couldn't provide Task & Purpose with receipts showing how the money he raised was being spent, he claimed, since he had already provided financial records to another media outlet for an exclusive story.
He declined to name which network he was working with. Dustin Stockton, vice president of strategy and marketing for Kolfage's nonprofit We Build The Wall Inc., later told Task & Purpose he could not say when the network story would run.
Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speak to the media at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved the transfer of $1.5 billion to build more than 80 miles (130 km)of barriers on the border with Mexico, U.S. officials said on Friday, including taking about $600 million from an account meant for Afghan security forces.
U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan talks with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., during the retirement ceremony for U.S. Army Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, Tampa, Florida, March 29, 2019. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)
In just under a month, the Defense Department should have a list of which military construction projects can be delayed in order to transfer $3.6 billion to pay for the border wall, according to a Pentagon memo obtained by Task & Purpose.
"I request that you identify, by May 10, 2019, existing military construction projects of sufficient value to provide up to $3.6 billion in funding for my consideration," Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan wrote in an April 11 memo to Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon's comptroller.
"You are not to consider family housing, barracks, or dormitory projects; projects that have already been awarded; or projects that have fiscal year 2019 award dates."
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that to send additional U.S. troops to the southwestern border with Mexico — and he indicated he wants service members to do more than just build physical barriers.
"I'm going to have to call up more military," Trump told reporters in Texas. "Our military – don't forget – can't act like a military would act. Because if they got a little rough, everybody would go crazy."