— UPDATED: 1/28/16 3:37pm
Read time: 2 minutes

Is Trump's Anti-Debate 'Event' Raising Money For A Bogus Charity? (Updated)

NBC News has tried, and failed to identify the beneficiary of tonight's 'event.'
Views:

Katy Tur spent some time trying to verify the beneficiary of tonight's Trump Alternative To Fox News' Debate, to no avail.

According to her report above, they reached out to all of the main veterans' charities and could find none who had been contacted by the Trump campaign about partnering with them.

All of which is very interesting, considering that back in September, Trump held an "event" for a veterans' charity that isn't really a charity.

Remember Rachel Maddow's report about "Veterans for a Strong America" back in September?

That was the "veterans group" Donald Trump was supposedly raising money for on a decommissioned battleship out here in California. Except they aren't a tax-exempt organization anymore.

Prior to VSA, he was a staff member of Vets for Freedom, described on his LinkedIn profile as yet another nonpartisan nonprofit. Vets for Freedom at the time was run by conservative Republican Pete Hegseth, who now leads Concerned Veterans of America.

Mother Jones reported that Veterans for a Strong America was a registered 501(c)(4), but news reports indicate that the organization had its tax-exempt status revoked by the IRSbecause it failed to submit Form 990s for three years running. However, regardless of the IRS action, the “Veterans for a Strong America Action Group” appears on the Center for Responsive Politics website as a super PAC with several five-figure donations from Veterans for a Strong America. The PAC’s expenditures were in support of Mitt Romney for president ($125,080) and Rick Berg, a Republican running in North Dakota for the Senate ($45,000). Arends appears as the treasurer of the super PAC. At a minimum, it would appear that Arends and the Veterans for a Strong America, if that is anything more than Arends under a different name, are hardly nonpartisan. The PAC’s disclosure of several five-figure donations from VSA makes it appear like VSA is the 501(c)(4) that camouflages the donors who would otherwise be revealed if they were to give to the Super PAC directly.

So here we have an organization which is run by a guy formerly associated with the former director of the Koch-backed Concerned Veterans for America, which benefitted from a Donald Trump appearance on a battleship and no longer enjoys tax-exempt status.


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You think maybe that's the organization Trump is raising money for at his event tonight?

If so, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are in for some sliming too, since they've vowed to show up at Trump's event after the undercard debate.

For our boys in uniform, of course.

If Y'all Qaeda had a Godfather, it might be Donald Trump.

Update:

It appears that the funds raised are going to Donald Trump's foundation, but his spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, could not name one charity which had come out in support of this event tonight.

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