Instead of appearing at the Republican presidential debate on Fox News tonight, Donald Trump announced he’s going to host a fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa for veterans. Now some veterans groups are pushing back.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America said they will reject any money from Trump, according to the Daily Caller.
This comes as the Daily Beast reports that Trump has been trying to kick disabled veteran street vendors off of New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Trump first lobbied for the ban in 1991 in a letter to the New York General Assembly. He said the veterans were turning Fifth Avenue into an “outdoor flea market.” Trump also wrote then-mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg to warn that “the image of New York City will suffer” if the veterans were not removed.
The Daily Beast talked to some of the veteran street peddlers about Trump and here’s what they said:
Williams has been supporting his family by peddling for the past 12 years, commencing around the time Trump wrote the mayor to say vets should not be allowed to sell on his street. Williams had no trouble characterizing Trump’s efforts.
“Despicable,” he said. “He never served. And not his kids.”
Williams uttered another word when he learned that Trump was using a veterans event to offset his absence from Thursday’s Republican debate.
Trump has been using veterans as props since he started running for president. His foundation only gave $58,000 to veterans organizations between 2009 and 2013.